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Israeli Views of Diaspora Jews - 2014 Survey

June 25, 2014

New Poll Reveals Key Attitudes of Israeli Jews to Diaspora

Large Majority of Israeli Jews Want Israeli Gov’t Decisions To Consider Diaspora Jews, Make Aliyah a Priority

In advance of the first Jewish Media Summit (JMS), the Israel Democracy Institute – in cooperation with the Government Press Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism and KKL - JNF – carried out a survey of the Israeli Jewish public to better understand their views towards Diaspora Jewry. Key findings of the poll, being released this morning at the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem, follow.

The Israel-Diaspora Connection

  • Fate: 62% of Israeli Jews believe that Jews in Israel and the Diaspora share a common fate, while 35% disagree.
  • Nationality: 60% of Israeli Jews believe that the Jewish people in Israel are a nation separate from the Jews abroad, while 36% disagree with this claim.
  • Connection: When asked to choose what defines the primary connection between Jews in Israel and Jews in the Diaspora, a plurality of Israeli Jews selected Jewish culture and tradition (40%), followed by Jewish religious law (18%), Jewish nationality (13%), antisemitism (13%), and blood relations / genetics (6%). 7% of respondents believe that all options equally define the primary connection.

Keeping Up with the Diaspora

  • Interest in Diaspora Jewry: 81% of Israeli Jews are interested to know what’s happening with Jews in the Diaspora; 18% are not interested.
  • Source of Information: Israeli Jews receive the majority of their information regarding Diaspora Jewry from television (56%), the internet (51%), newspapers (51%), family members or friends abroad (39%), radio (30%), family members or friends in Israel (23%), and their own trips abroad (16%).

Priorities of World Jewry

  • When asked to select which of the following issues is most important for world Jewry to make its top priority, a plurality stated assimilation in the Diaspora (29%) followed by antisemitism (24%), a strong connection to Israel (13%), influencing local politicians on issues related to Israel (9%), the BDS movement (6%), and financial support of Israel (5%). 9% of respondents believe that all of the objectives are of equal importance.

The Government of Israel and the Diaspora

  • 71% of Israeli Jews think that the Government of Israel, when making important decisions, should take into consideration how the decision will influence the situation of Jews in the Diaspora, while 26% do not think it is necessary.
  • 51% of Israeli Jews think that the Government of Israel, when making important decisions, should take into consideration the viewpoints of Diaspora Jews, while 47% do not think it is necessary.
  • When asked to state in which, if any, of the following ways they favor Israeli government support for Jewish communities in the Diaspora, 62% of Israeli Jews favor sending emissaries (shlichim) from Israel, 42% support the physical defense of facilities and people, and 39% back financial support for Jewish communal activities. 10% of respondents oppose support by the Government of Israel for Diaspora Jewish communities.

Non-Orthodox Religious Movements in Israel

  • Status: 51% of Israeli Jews believe that the Conservative and Reform movements in Israel should be given status equal to that of the Orthodox movement in matters of conversion and marriage. 43% do not believe the other Jewish denominations should be given such status.
  • Funding: 52% of Israeli Jews oppose allocating government funds to Reform and Conservative communities and rabbis, while 40% support such a move.


  • Despite all of the other matters of importance on the agenda of the Israeli government, 91% of Israeli Jews believe that aliyah of Jews from around the world to Israel is an issue of importance. 8% of respondents do not believe that aliyah is an important issue.

This survey, conducted on May 8 - 11, 2014, included 477 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult Jewish population of Israel. The maximum measurement error for a sample of this size is ±4.6%.

A special booklet with these results and the questionnaire and survey data (in English and in Hebrew) are available for download.

To learn more about JMS, visit http://jms.org.il or contact:
Jeremy Ruden
Jewish Media Summit
+972 52 407 0775

For more information about the survey or to schedule an interview, contact:
Yehoshua Oz
Director of International Communications
Israel Democracy Institute

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