Survey reveals attitudes among US Modern Orthodox Jews

Survey reveals US Modern Orthodox Jews 'overwhelmingly supportive and loving of Israel.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Knit kippahs
Knit kippahs
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A comprehensive study was conducted for the U.S. Orthodox Organization Coalition (OIC) through Direct Polls LTD to better understand attitudes among U.S. Orthodox Jews towards Israel, Jewish life in the U.S., anti-Semitism, and other topics:

In your opinion, in which direction do you think Israel has been developing in the last decade?

4.9% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
8.9% Negative
86.2% Positive

What are your feelings towards the State of Israel today?

12.1% Belonging
17.4% Commitment
0.6% Despair
2.0% Fear
7.1% Hope
0.4% Indifference
55.4% Pride
5.0% Success

What is the definition of the State of Israel for you?

16.0% A safe place for Jews in the world in times of trouble.
1.3% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
82.7% The chosen place where the Jewish people should live.

How would you define the affinity between the State of Israel and the Diaspora / American Jews / Diaspora Jews?

5.4% Now that Israel is strong, the future of the Jews in the Diaspora is more important.
52.0% The future of the State of Israel is more important.
42.6% Two Jewish communities equal in importance.

How important do you think it is to the Israeli government to have a continuous and ongoing relationship with the American Jews?

1.5% Hardly important
16.2% Important
0.4% Not important at all
82.0% Very important

How would you define the Jewish life in the US today in relation to the past?

3.3% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
28.3% Today it’s becoming more difficult and problematic than it was in the past to maintain a Jewish lifestyle in the US.
68.4% Today it’s easier and simpler to maintain a Jewish lifestyle in the US than it was in the past.

How important do you think it is for Israel to strengthen its relationship with American Jews?

0.9% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
0.3% Not important at all
7.9% Not so important
91.0% Very important

Do you think that today, in 2019, Israel needs to help the American Jews, or are the communities in the US strong and self-sufficient?

6.4% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
11.7% Today, Jewish communities in the US are less in need of assistance and a connection with the State of Israel.
82.0% Today, more than ever before, the Jewish communities in the US need assistance and a connection with the State of Israel with Jewish issues.

What should be the top priority for the Jewish communities in the US?

12.5% Support and assistance to the State of Israel.
12.2% Concern and development of the Jewish life within the communities in the US.
74.7% Both equally
0.3% Neither of them
0.4% I don’t know

In your opinion, which are the most important topics for the Jewish communities in the US (you can choose more than one answer)?

11.6% Encouraging Aliyah to Israel
11.8% Assistance with content and teachers for the Jewish education system
12.8% Preventing assimilation
15.5% Strengthening the connection of the young generation to Judaism
13.9% Fighting anti-Semitism against Jewish personas and institutions in the US
11.9% Fighting against BDS activity towards Israel
13.1% Reduction in the costs of Jewish education
9.5% Involvement of the young generation in communal and national organizations

Which of the following topics do you consider as the most engaging for the younger generation of American Jews (ages 18-35)?

33.7% a. Jewish-Israeli propaganda and education in colleges and universities in the US.
23.1% b. Studies in Israel
2.3% c. Military service in the IDF
11.7% d. The possibility of building a future and continuing life in the US.
29.3% e. Assistance in fighting anti-Semitism and BDS in the US

What is your level of satisfaction with the actions of the different Israeli bodies in assisting the American Jews?

23.7% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
31.2% No so satisfied
35.2% Satisfied
3.5% Very dissatisfied
6.4% Very satisfied

In your opinion, who has more influence today in the US government regarding Israel affairs?

26.4% Both of them equally
15.0% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
11.4% Neither of them
34.3% The Jewish lobby and various organizations
12.8% The State of Israel

What do you think is the most controversial issue between Israel and the American Jews?

8.1% Conversion to Judaism
0.8% Defining the term Aliyah
7.3% Human rights issues
22.2% Israel’s security and foreign policies
34.5% Recognition of all Jewish denominations
6.9% Relations with the government
20.3% The centrality of the State of Israel among the Jewish people

What do you think is the best way to resolve issues of disagreement between the Israeli government and the American Jews?

61.8% Creating a dialogue and compromise with all of the bodies representing the American Jews, including those who disagree with Israel’s government policy.
17.0% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
21.2% Reducing the influence of American bodies and entities that disagree with the Israeli government policy.

To what extent does the conflict between the different movements in the US strengthen or weaken American Orthodox Jews?

28.8% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
24.4% Strengthens the po​​wer and influence of American Orthodox Jews.
46.7% Weakens the power and influence of American Orthodox Jews.

What is your attitude towards other Jewish movements in the US?

12.4% Estrangement and differentiation for fear of negative effects.
6.5% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
81.1% Mutual respect and cooperation despite differences in opinions.

How involved are you in the activities of the Jewish community you belong to?

18.0% Active in initiatives and communal activities initiated by the community
29.6% Attend prayers and lessons during the week
7.9% Attend prayers during the week
34.1% Attend prayers on Shabbat and holidays
8.3% Donate money to the community or other causes on behalf of the community
2.1% I refuse to answer

Have you personally encountered acts of anti-Semitism or calls to boycott Israel over the years? If so, how often?

9.0% Frequently encountered
18.9% Never encountered
41.5% Rarely encountered
30.6% Seldomly encountered

To what extent do you think that acts of anti-Semitism and the BDS are increasing and becoming a problem for American Jews?

3.0% I don’t know / I refuse to answer
15.5% Increasing a little compared to the past
78.9% Increasing a lot compared to the past
2.5% There is no change compared to the past

If you could choose today, where would you have preferred to be born and raise your children?

2.0% A different country in the world
5.1% Doesn’t matter to me
62.9% Israel
29.9% USA

The comprehensive study was conducted for the U.S. Orthodox Organization Coalition (OIC) in December 2019, through Direct Polls LTD, among 1,031 samples of the U.S. (18+) adult population that defines itself as Orthodox. Statistical sampling error 4.4% with 95% probability.

World Mizrachi CEO Rabbi Doron Perez said the survey reveals U.S. Modern Orthodox Jews are overwhelmingly supportive and loving of Israel: "There are two or three defining characteristics of the Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist community in America in terms of its attitude to Israel: One, they are overwhelmingly and deeply supportive and loving of Israel in the most profound ways. We see that 82% believe that what makes the State of Israel special is that it's the designated and chosen place for Jews ideally to live.

"Two, incredibly, 63% of American Modern Orthodox Jews, if they had a choice, would either prefer to be born in Israel or raise their children in Israel. And 86% believe that the direction Israel is going is positive.

"Also, there is a strong belief that Israel should see itself as the state of the Jewish People. I like to quote Naftali Bennett: 'For seventy years the State of Israel was the project of the Jewish People. It's now time for the Jewish People to become the project of the State of Israel'."



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