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Although Jews comprise less than three percent of the American population, Jews have generally had a disproportionately larger representation in American government, business, academia, and entertainment.
By about 1700 , Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt (the Exodus) into the Sinai Desert, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai.
Ten tribes organized into the northern kingdom of Israel, while the other two tribes formed the southern kingdom of Judah.
The people of Israel, however, lost much of their Hebrew identity after the Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom in 721 , these Jews remained faithful to their traditions and to the Ten Commandments.
On the whole, however, Jews have enjoyed greater acceptance in America than in any other country and have figured prominently in American culture and politics.
Jewish history dates back 4,000 years to the time of Abraham, the biblical figure credited for introducing the belief in a single God.
In general, one is Jewish if born of a Jewish mother or if he or she converts to Judaism.
Most Jews consider the State of Israel the Jewish homeland.Located in the Middle East with a land mass of 7,992 square miles, Israel is only slighter larger than New Jersey.It is bounded by Lebanon in the north, by Syria and Jordan in the east, by Egypt in the southwest, and by the Mediterranean Sea in the west.For 40 years the Israelites lived in the desert, obeying God's commandments.After Moses, Joshua led the Israelites back into Canaan, now called Palestine, representing the "Promised Land." There the people were ruled by benevolent Judges and later by Kings until social tensions after the death of King Solomon caused the Israelites to break apart.Fifty years later Jews returned to Palestine after the Persians defeated the Babylonians.