The Jewish communities in Israel and the USA participated in a survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee. The survey sought to assess the positions of the members of the respective communities regarding the current situation and challenges facing Israel and the Jewish world today.
“Some commonalities among American, and Israeli Jewry, comprising the great majority of world Jewry, are strikingly encouraging,” said the American Jewish Committee’s CEO, David Harris.
However, Harris noted that “there are clear differences among and within these three Jewish communities about key current issues of Jewish concern and about the challenges they are likely to face in coming years”.
Here are some important takeaways from the survey:
First, 65% of American Jews feel worried about their safety, and 57% of them say that the climate on college campuses has become more hostile toward pro-Israel students
Regarding the future of Jewish communities in Europe, American Jews are more optimistic than Israelis. 75% of Americans and 44% of Israelis say that Jews have a future in Europe, and 17% of American Jews and 46% of Israeli Jews think they should emigrate immediately.
Regarding U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israel relation, there is a wide gap between Israeli Jews and American Jews While 79% of Israeli Jews approve of the US president’s policies regarding Israel-US relations, only 37% of American Jews have a similar stance.
In addition, only 50% of American Jews support Trump’s measure of recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, while 88% of Israeli Jews support it.
Interestingly only 49% of American Jews identified themselves as democrat, a figure significantly lower than those who did so only two years ago (57%). The percentage of those who identify as Republicans increased slightly from 16% last year to 18% this year.
There is a bigger than expected difference between Israelis and Americans in the importance that they give to Israel being a necessary part for the future of the Jewish people. 91% of Israeli Jews believe that a prosperous State of Israel is vital to the long-term future of the community, compared to 72% of American Jews. In addition, 62% of American Jews believe that caring about Israel is an important part of being Jewish.
Finally, in general, Jews, especially young people between the ages of 18 and 34, believe that a prosperous Jewish diaspora is vital to the future of the Jewish people in the long term: Israeli Jews 74% and American Jews at 65%.