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With 1.65 million Jews, or about 9 percent of the total population, New York has by far the largest Jewish population of any state, with a much higher percentage in the general population than the national rate, where the Jews constitute fewer than 2%. New York City alone accounts for close to 1.5 million. Jews first arrived in New York in 1654, but communal life did not start until the 1830’s, when Jewish communities began to appear outside New York City, first in Albany, then Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, and a dozen other cities. Today, there are 26,000 Jews in Buffalo, 22,500 in Rochester, 12,000 in Albany, and 9,000 in Syracuse. The Satmar Hasidic community of Kiryas Yoel has 10,000 Jews. Rockland County has 83,000 Jews. New York City remains the major center of Jewish life and culture in the state.

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