Article Library / 2016

2016 Annual Assessment

1      For a short discussion of the question “what is Judaism” and the ways to approach it, see: The Jews: Frequently Asked Questions, Shmuel Rosner, from page 13 (Dvir and Beit Hatfutzot, 2016, Hebrew).
2     The report Jewish Values and Israel’s Use of Force in Armed Conflict- Perspectives from World Jewry can be found here:–Perspectives-from-World-Jewry/.
3     The report Jewish and Democratic: Perspectives from World Jewry is here:
4     Media reports about the 2014 dialogue can be seen here: Reports about the 2015 dialogue, here:, here:, and here:
5      The survey asked respondents to rank the categories on a scale of 1-5, and all graphs showing the responses of participants are on a scale of 1-5. However, in order to compare to other surveys, all graphs showing the mean of the responses have been adapted to show the division of responses on a scale of 1-4.
6      Jews in America (and half of Israel’s Jews) tend to be more secular than members of other religions. “They are secular, in terms of their beliefs & religious participation. About as religious as non-churched Christians” (See: “Does Political Liberalism Undermine Jewish engagement? Implications for Research, Education and American Jews”, Steven Cohen, presentations to Network for Research in Jewish Education).
7    JPPI 2016 Dialogue Philadelphia seminar, April 18, 2016.  Notes by LaJonel Brown.
8     See: JPPI, annual assessment 2015:
9      The pluralism survey asked about religion, ancestry, nationality (but did not have peoplehood attached to it) and culture. It used a 1-4 scale rather than a 1-5 scale.
10      While the JPPI survey asked participants to rank four options, the Pew report on Israel included three options from which to choose: religion, nationality and culture. The report in English was erroneous in translating the Hebrew word that means “nationality” (in the original question in Hebrew: עניין לאומי) to “ancestry”. In this report we refer to the question as it was asked in Hebrew. The Pew survey of Jewish Americans had religion, culture and ancestry. Thus, exact comparisons between the U.S. and Israel based on the Pew questions is impossible, even though Pew did include such comparison in the report on Israel.
11     Interestingly, the Dialogue survey shows that “non-denominational” participants ranked “religion” quite high (3.02) in comparison to the Orthodox participants (3.23). Seculars ranked religion as low as Israel’s seculars in JPPI’s Pluralism in Israel survey (2.49, 2.51).
12      The gaps between the categories are not always very wide, but this is partially a result of the way the question was framed. Each participant ranked each category on the scale, and since few participants would rank any of the components as a 1 the result is a scale in which all categories amount to something. The above Pew graph is an example of what happens when Jews are asked to choose between categories, rather than rank all categories. In such case, the gaps are much more pronounced.
13     Only about half the Orthodox ranked it a 4 or a 5 (out of 5).
14     JPPI 2016 Dialogue Pittsburgh seminar, April 4, 2016. Notes by Shmuel Rosner.
15     When comparing the percentage of participants that ranked each of the activities at 4 or 5 (on a 1-5 scale).
16      “Israel’s Religiously Divided Society”, Pew 2016, page 62.
17     The number of times non-Israeli Dialogue participants traveled to Israel compared to average Jews is telling: only 4% of JPPI Dialogue participants have not been to Israel.
18     Washington JPPI seminar, April 11, 2016.  Notes by Shmuel Rosner.