Article Library / 2015

2014-2015 Annual Assessment

The effect of Israeli policies on the propensity of non-Israeli Jews to feel a close connection with Israel, and to view it as a vital component of their Jewish identity, is not entirely clear. Other considerations seem to have a greater effect on Israel attachment than political opinions: it is clear that Jews with a greater commitment to their Jewish identity tend to feel a stronger connection to Israel than their less committed counterparts. There is also a clear correspondence between growing intermarriage rates and weaker connections to Israel (among the intermarried and their children).

On the other hand, there are studies that show a correlation between Jews’ political opinions and their level of connection to Israel. Among others, the 2013 Pew study of the Jewish American community showed that more liberal Jews were less connected to Israel than Jews with more conservative opinions. Data collected also show that Jews (mainly young and non-Orthodox) are more critical of Israeli security measures,15 and Jews, mainly in North America but not exclusively, are dissatisfied with the relationship between religion and state in Israel.16

Questions dealing directly with Israel’s actions in the security arena during war, received relatively positive opinions. Most Jews said that Israel’s actions during war made them feel “more proud” of Israel. However, when asked the same question about “other Jews in the community” the percentage of those who felt “detached” or even “embarrassed” was higher. This effect was also apparent in seminar discussions.

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