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World's Jewish Population Approaching Pre-Holocaust Numbers

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The world's Jewish population has almost rebounded to pre-Holocaust numbers, according to a new report.

The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) estimates there are currently 14.2 million Jewish people in the world today. That estimate approaches 16.2 million, the number of Jewish people in the world before World War II, when Nazis and their collaborators killed 6.1 million Jews.

The JPPI credits high fertility rates and natural growth in Israel for the increase.

California is home to 1.2 million Jews, according to The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE).

The JPPI's report, presented to the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday, casts a wide net. The tally includes people who consider themselves Jewish, others with at least one Jewish parent, Israelis who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, and a million secular Jews, who have no connection to Jewish life or institutions.

In contrast, a report by the Pew Research Center that only includes people who self-identify as Jews says the Jewish population will not reach 16 million until 2050.

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