Hanukkah Menorah
Hanukkah Menorah INN:" Hanukkiah

There are very few Jews in Israel who do not light Hanukkah candles. These numbers are from a research project called "Israeli Jewry" by the Jewish People Policy Institute. The survey was based on an extensive survey of Jews in Israel.

A new book recently published by Dvir is based on the project and is entitled "Israeli Jewry, A Portrait of a Cultural Revolution".

The data shows that almost three out of every four Jews in Israel (73%) say they light Hanukkah candles "every evening".

One in four Jews in Israel light Hanukkah candles "some evenings". That is to say, they do not light all eight days, but six or even three days.

In fact, there is a significant competition among the major Jewish population groups in Israel. The numbers show that of these groups, 97% among the religious, 86% among the traditional and 71% of the secular-traditional light candles every night.

The only group that most of its members light Hanukkah candles "some evenings" are those that call themselves "completely secular". Of this group, whose numbers are slightly more than a quarter of the Jews in Israel at 28%, 44% prefer to light candles some evenings, compared to 40% who light every evening.

Hanukkah is a holiday in which the majority of Israeli Jews observe a number of its customs. Such customs are: Eating donuts and latkes (79%), and giving presents to children (64%, a prominent practice among the hareidim at 89%) are particularly popular among Jews living in Israel.

A significant percentage of the Jews also reported going to "one of the holiday shows," such as a festival or play (42%).

In the book by Samuel Rosner and Camille Fox, an interesting comparison is made between the way the Jews of the United States - the largest Jewish community outside Israel - and the Jews in Israel are perceived.

More than two thirds (68%) of Jews in the US consider Hanukkah as one of the "three most important holidays". This is probably because of its proximity to the American-Christian winter holiday period. That is compared to about one third of the Jews in Israel (38%) who hold that belief. But the increased importance that the Americans attach to Hanukkah does not manifest itself in the intense observance of the holiday customs.

While three out of every four Israelis light Hanukkah candles "every evening," less than two of every three Jews (60%) in the States do so.

This disparity in the of Jewish practices exists in many holidays, when almost all of them, in almost every custom examined, Jews in Israel practice more Jewish tradition than Americans.