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Cradling ideals of democracy and capitalism, Americans have rigorously embraced their Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The US introduced the world to the right to the pursuit of happiness and the right to free speech, creating the richest, most resourceful and ingenious country on earth. America’s melting pot of nations and immigrants is continually evolving and has given way to a re-emphasis on the old country and cultures while contributing to the nation. As world leaders and the only superpower, the US has escorted the world out of war, into war, ushered the world into a nuclear age and since the tragedy of September 11, is waging a war against terror in the name of freedom.

The continent’s first inhabitants walked into North America from Asia more than 20,000 years ago. A Norwegian explorer was the first European to reach North America, some 500 years before Columbus in 1492. The Spanish founded the first permanent European settlement in St Augustine, Florida, and the first British settlement in 1607, brought with it the first Africans.

The Statue of Liberty symbolizes the willingness of the United States to open its doors to immigrants and in recent years more than 1 million immigrants arrive to U.S. shores each year.

Full country name: The United States of America (USA)

Date of Independence: July 4 1776

Population: 341,183,724 (Feb 2024)

Area: 3,618,000 square miles (9,370,000 square km)

Capital city: Washington, DC (pop: 5,490,000 in 2023)

People: Caucasian (60%), African American (12%), Latino (18.5%), Asian (5.6%), Native American (0.7%)

Languages: English, plus many secondary languages, chiefly Spanish

Religion: Protestant (35%), Roman Catholic (22%), non-specific Christian (12%), Jewish (2%), Muslim (1%)

Government: Federal Republic of 50 states

President: Joe Biden from 20 of January 2021

Army: Voluntary – The United States Army consists of professional soldiers only

Weekend: 2 days – Saturday, Sunday

Major Industries: Oil, electronics, computers, automobile manufacturing, aerospace industries, agriculture, telecommunications, chemicals, mining, processing and packaging

Currency: US Dollar


The US has the strongest economy in the world evident in its economic growth, low inflation, low unemployment, gross domestic product and high salaries. US income tax is also considerably lower than the rest of the Western world. The US is a mixed economy that operates as a free market economy in consumer goods and business services with government regulations for protection.

Employment: A minimum wage and overtime pay of one and a half times the regular rate of pay (after 40 hours work per week) exists for salaries based on hours worked. There is no requirement of severance pay or vacations. Companies with 10 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, which can be used 90 days after being hired. Full-time, part-time, and temporary employees are covered and earn one hour off for every 40 hours worked. The professional employment market is very competitive, and employees generally work very long hours in the bigger cities.

Personal Tax rate: Personal income tax is levied at progressive tax rates between 10-37%. The maximum income rate of 37%.

Cost of Living: The average monthly living expenses for a single person in the USA are $3,189 a month for 2023. Furthermore, the average household size is 3.13 persons. However, there are geographic variations in the cost of living, specifically the child-rearing costs. Expenses are highest for families living in the urban West, followed by the urban Northeast and urban South. Families living in the urban Midwest and rural areas have the lowest living costs.

Inflation: Currently at the rate of 3.1% (Jan 2024).

Unemployment: Currently at 3.7% (Jan 2024).

GDP Growth Rate: currently at 2.5% (2023).

Interest Rates: 5.25% to 5.50% (July 2023)

Main Industries: computers, pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of medial, aerospace and military equipment.

Research and Development: world leader.

Jewish Community

American Jewry extends as far back as 1654, where it has been estimated at 25 Jews. The Jewish population in the United States is currently more 6.3 million (about 2.4% of the total U.S. population) and is the 2nd largest Jewish community in the world, after Israel. Approximately 33% of the Jewish population lives in the Northeast region of the country. Other interesting statistics on American Jewry include: nearly 60% of Jewish adults have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, including 28% who have earned a post-graduate degree. U.S. Jews are a relatively high-income group, with roughly 50% have an annual household income is at least $100,000 – much higher than the percentage of all U.S. households at that level.

Today, the United States and Israel are the closest of friends and allies. During more than four decades of state-building, Israelis have looked to the United States for inspiration, financial and military assistance, and diplomatic support. Americans, in turn, have viewed Israel with a special appreciation for its successful effort to follow the Western democratic tradition, its remarkable economic development, and its determined struggle against its uncompromising enemies. In facilitating this relationship somewhat, Jews have also devoted themselves to politics – Jews have the highest percentage voter turnout of any ethnic group. Similarly, Jews today, occupy more political positions than ever before. In the 119th Congress, 6.2 per cent of Congress is Jewish- 33. Jews are now Supreme Court Justices and hold key Administration posts.

Another distinguishing feature of American Jewry is its adherence to more modern and pluralist forms of Judaism: including Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism. The introduction of non-Orthodox Judaism into America has been associated with the arrival of German intellectuals in the early 19th century, yet the first stirrings of American Reform has native roots in Charleston, South Carolina where Hebrew prayers were followed by an English translation; new prayers were added to reflect contemporary American life; music and the playing of an organ were introduced into the service; worship took place without head coverings; confirmation classes for boys and girls, the second day of festival observances were abandoned and, eventually family seating rather than the separation of men and women.

Settling In


The United States has a decentralized system of education; there is no national school system and the ultimate authority to create and administer education policy rests with the 50 states. There are therefore, no national laws addressing: a prescribed curriculum, the establishment and recognition of institutions, the recognition of degrees or professions, the governance of institutions, or the legal status of students or faculty. However, within the states, there is a public and private school system (primary, secondary, college and trade schools) – Jewish schools (of all denominations) are part of the private school system and therefore fees are payable. There are also very high college fees for private and out of state colleges (e.g. If you live in California and want to study in NY), and American parents start saving for their children’s college education from their birth.

Information regarding education in the U.S. for citizens and international students:

Health Care

Health Care in the United States is provided within a highly regulated entrepreneurial health care market rather than a comprehensive integrated system. Unlike other developed countries, there is no government-led scheme that provides access to healthcare for all citizens and thus healthcare is of a major concern to most Americans. Individuals largely take responsibility for their own healthcare provisions. Furthermore, the US has seen an unprecedented rise in healthcare costs during the last 30 years and it is therefore essential that you are insured for medical expenses. There is an enormous array of medical insurance companies in the country and to ensure that a person is properly protected against catastrophic health expenses, medical insurance is often purchased. While the majority of Americans obtain medical coverage through a group program provided by their employer, such opportunities may not be available to recent U.S. immigrants (perhaps the immigrant is self-employed, in between jobs, or already in retirement). If you are sent out to the USA with a company it is more than likely that medical insurance will be part of the package. A group health plan is an employee welfare benefit plan established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization (such as a union), or both, that provides medical care for participants or their dependents directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise. Students will be able to benefit from cheaper premiums for the under 25s. Most colleges have a clinic or health center, which will offer free advice and basic treatment.

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The Atlantic Coast is the most heavily populated area and retains strong traces of its European architectural heritage. This is where the oldest American cities, such as Boston, New York, Washington, and Philadelphia are located, and where most of the major events in early American history took place. Today’s average homes are much more spacious than any built in the previous 100 years, and typically have three or more bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, an attached garage for two or more cars and central air conditioning. About 65.9% of the population own their houses, with newly built homes costing averages at $329,000 (not including land), but can very depending on the location. Low interest rates for mortgages (between 6 and 6.5%) have kept families buying homes, and high rents and purchase prices and shortages of space in the inner-city centers have ensured the development of the “urban suburban” paradigm – towns located within 100km of the city, have excellent public transport systems and multiple lane freeways, to ensure easy access to work places.


In America, the world of active sports is at your complete disposal. From surfing in Hawaii and the famous beaches of California, to down-hill skiing and snow-boarding in the Rocky Mountains to hiking in the alpine meadows of the High Sierra and the forested byways of the Appalachian Trail – you will never be alone in your pursuits. With the temperate climate in most of the US – it gets hotter the farther south you go and seasonally more extreme the farther you are north and inland from the coasts. Florida is hot all year round and beaches close to non-coastal cities become over populated on the weekends during the summer months.

Useful links

U.S. and Immigration

The Government


Social security system


Quarantine and Customs

Business Development

Taxes in the U.S

Media Outlets


The New York Times –


Education system

Jewish Day Schools

Tourism and Leisure

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