How do Jews in Israel see their connection with Jews in the Diaspora? In preparation for the first Jewish Media Summit (JMS), IDI's Guttman Center for Surveys conducted a survey of the attitudes of Israeli Jews toward Diaspora Jewry. Key findings of the poll can be found below.
This survey was conducted in partnership with:
The Government Press Office
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs
The Ministry of Tourism
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%), anti-Semitism (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 combating assimilation in the Diaspora (29%). This was followed by dealing with anti-Semitism (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 Israeli government support 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 was conducted on May 8–11, 2014 and 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%.