Ethnicity and mixed ethnicity: Educational gaps among Israeli-born Jews

Yinon Cohen, Yitchak Haberfeld, Tali Kristal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyses gaps in the university graduation rates of third-generation Ashkenazim and Mizrahim (the two major ethnic groups among Israeli Jews), in comparison to the same gaps among members of the second generation. The empirical analyses have been performed using a special file of the 1995 Israeli census which matched records of respondents to their parents in the 1983 Census, thereby allowing identification of the ethnicity of the third generation for a representative sample of men and women, 25-34 years of age in 1995, as well as the identification of persons of mixed ethnicity. The results suggest that the gaps between the two major ethnic groups are not smaller in the third generation than in the second generation. Persons of mixed ethnicity - of both the second and third generations - are located about midway between the two ethnic groups with respect to their university graduation rates. Much of the ethnic-based gap in university graduation is due to differences in family background, especially among women. We discuss the implications of these results for the future of ethnic-based stratification in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-917
Number of pages22
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partly supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant number 919/04). Earlier versions of this article were presented in colloquia in Columbia University, Bard College, Haifa University, and at the Israeli Sociological Association Meeting (Beer Sheva, 2004). We thank participants in these seminars, and Hanna Ayalon, Hadas Mandel, Barbara Okun, Joel Perlmann, and Yossi Shavit for their comments on earlier versions of this article.


  • Ashkenazim
  • Ethnicity
  • Israel
  • Mizrahim
  • Third generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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