Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahim () or Mashriqiyyun (), also referred to as Adot HaMizrach (עֲדוֹת-הַמִּזְרָח; Communities of the East; Mizrahi Hebrew: ), are Jews descended from local Jewish communities of the Middle East (as opposed to those from Europe, Africa and other places). The term Mizrahi is most commonly used in Israel to refer to Jews who trace their roots back to Muslim-majority countries. This includes descendants of Babylonian Jews from modern Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Kurdistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yemenite and Georgian Jews are usually included within the Mizrahi Jews group. Some also expand the definition of Mizrahim to Maghrebi and Sephardic. Furthermore, some even reclassify the whole Israeli Jewish society as “Mizrahi” as compared with the Western Jews of Europe and the Americas. The use of the term Mizrahi can be somewhat controversial. Before the establishment of the state of Israel, Mizrahi Jews did not identify themselves as a separate ethnic subgroup. Instead, Mizrahi Jews generally characterized themselves as Sephardi, because they follow the traditions of Sephardic Judaism (although with some differences among the minhagim of the particular communities). This has resulted in a conflation of terms, particularly in Israel, and in religious usage, where “Sephardi” is used in a broad sense to include Mizrahi Jews and Maghrebi Jews as well as Sephardim proper. Indeed, from the point of view of the official Israeli rabbinate, any rabbis of Mizrahi origin in Israel are under the jurisdiction of the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel. Today those of Sephardic rite make up more than half of Israel’s Jewish population, and Mizrahi Jews proper are a major part of them. Before the mass immigration of over one million people from the former Soviet Union, mostly of Ashkenazi descent, followers of the Sephardic rite made up over 70% of Israel’s Jewish population. As of 2005, 61% of Israeli Jews are of Mizrahi ancestry.