All Jews had their earliest origins in the Middle East. The greatest number were in Jerusalem and the surrounding lands of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. There was also a diaspora, primarily in Babylon and Alexandria.

After the destruction of Judea in AD 70, the largest centers of Judaism were Germany and Spain. In Hebrew, Germany is ashkenazi.  Ashkenazi Jews are of German origin, though many migrated to Poland, Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere during the 10th to the 19th centuries. Today, in Israel, a Jew of European origin is called Ashkenazi.

Also see Sephardic.