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Of Virginia’s 70,000 Jews, 35,000 live in Alexandria (outside D.C.), 19,000 in Norfolk, 12,000 in Richmond, about 2,000 each in Newport News and Portsmouth, and 1,000 in Roanoke. Jewish life began in Virginia in the mid-17th century. A congregation was organized in Richmond in 1789. The Jewish population grew significantly after 1880, and by 1900 there were 13 established Jewish communities. Today, there are 12 Reform and 10 Conservative congregation in the state, with Northern Virginia (Greater Washington, D.C.) having the most thriving Jewish communities.

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