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In Focus

"See more clearly when you are informed"

Jewish Culture 

The oldest and progenitor of the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism and its associated culture stretch far back into our ancient past. With such a long lineage it comes replete with traditions, rites, and rituals all of which sit at the center of the Jewish Community. Below you will find key terms, statistics, and other useful tools to understand and talk about Jewish Culture. If you would like to know more, consider coming to an IYC event. Our next one can be found below in the section labeled Our Events. We host them virtually, on a wide range of topics, discussing policy, civics, and current events.

Key Terms You Should Know


Religious text; the Five Books of Moses also called the Old Testament.


Traditional dietary laws that also include how some food should be prepared and processed.


The language of the Torah and ancient Israel while Yiddish, also called Jewish, is a mix of Hebrew, German, and other languages used by European (Ashkenazi) Jews. English now includes words like chutzpah, mench, and yentah.

Synagogue (synagog):

House of worship; place for liturgical service, assembly, and study.


Symbol placed in a doorway to indicate that it is a Jewish household.


Moments In History

586 B.C. - First Temple destroyed by Babylonians.

1763 - The oldest still standing Synagogue is in Rhode Island.

2004 - 350th anniversary of Jewish life in America.

1184-1800s - The Inquisition & Spanish Inquisition.

1940s - The Holocaust & establishment of Israel as a country.


The Jewish population in New York is 8.8%

There are 5.8 million Jewish people in the United States

The Jewish population in South Dakota is 0%

There are 50,000 Living Holocaust survivors in the United States. The youngest are in their 70s

Jewish Groups:

35% Reform

30% No Denomination

18% Conservative

10% Orthodox

6% Other


Tradition & Rituals

Equal Rights

Man wearing a Kippah

The Ten Commandments


Repairing the World - Social Action/Justice - Tikkun Olam

Notable Names

Louis Brandeis
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Irving Berlin
Julius Axelrod
Amar'e Stoudemire

Louis Dembitz


Ruth Bader


Irving Berlin

Julius Axelrod

Amar'e Stoudemire


Star of David.jpg
Kiddush Cup.jpg

Our Events



Further Resources

Jewish Culture Infographic

Share what you have learned about Jewish Culture. Our Infographic has been designed to be shared easily by printing, emailing, or posting on social media. Click on the image to view or download the PDF File. (Not for commercial use.)

Jewish Culture Infographic.jpg

Celebrate & Create Event Video

Our crafting event for kids was lots of fun! Use your own materials to participate in our craft project. Watch the video to learn how to make your own Shamash Candle! You can also make an event out of it by hosting your own Celebrate & Create: Jewish Culture crafting party. Feel free to share this video with others! (Not for commercial use.) 

Take Action

Synagogue doors

Attend an event at a Jewish Heritage Center, local college, Holocaust Museum, community center, or synagogue.

Menora and Hanukkh presnets

Learn about Jewish Americans from history like Julius Axelrod, Sally Priesand, Stan Lee, Sammy Davis Jr., and Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Hands Unity Friendship

Commit to a weekly act that helps you understand Jewish Culture.

Star of David hanging in a tree

Read, watch, or listen to content from Jewish American creatives.

Friends sitting together

Share our Jewish Culture Infographic with friends, family, and anyone and everyone you think would appreciate becoming more informed!

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