Press Release

60% of Jewish Israelis Plan to Fast on Yom Kippur

With Yom Kippur (the Day of Attornment) upon us, our Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research checked how Israelis plan on marking the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar.

Yom Kippur, Blowing Shofar

Illustration | Flash 90

According to a special Yom Kippur survey by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute – 60.5% of Jewish Israelis plan to fast on Yom Kippur, while 27.5% do not, 5% plan on only drinking liquids – while abstaining from eating food and 7% haven’t decided. It is interesting to note that the results are quite similar to those of a survey taken in 2000 when 63% said they planned to fast – but indicate a significant drop from 73% in 1994.

As for synagogue attendance – only around a quarter of Jewish Israelis (23%) plan on attending all the synagogue services; 19% said they plan on attending some; and 12% plan to come to synagogue just to hear the shofar, 39% do not plan to attend at all, while 7% remain undecided.

In the survey, which was conducted on the internet and by telephone ( to ensure adequate representation to groups that are not sufficiently represented on the network) from October 3-6, 2019, 501 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew, constituting a representative national sample of the entire adult Jewish population of Israel aged 18 and older. The maximum sampling error for the entire sample was 4.1%± at a confidence level of 95%. The fieldwork was done by Panels Ltd. under the direction of Menachem Lazar.