There are approximately between 13 and 14 million Jewish people in the world today. However, this figure is an educated guess. One reason for this lack of precision is that there is disagreement as to what constitutes Jewish identity.
Prof. Sergio Della Pergola, head of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University, identifies four basic groupings within this population:
• “Traditional” Jews who consistently perform Jewish traditional ritual practices: Two million.
• “Ethnic” Jews who, while not necessarily religious, forge their bonds through Jewish religious and social institutions: Six million.
• “Cultural” Jews who acknowledge some kind of identification with the Jewish people, although their way of life does not seem to reflect this: Four million.
• The rest of those counted among the 13 to 14 million may be termed “Non-Identifying” – those who have a Jewish background of some kind, but for all intents and purposes do nothing to identify as Jewish.