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New surveys show connection and contrasts between American and Israeli Jewish millennials

Less than 20% of American respondents believe there is no viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whereas a majority of their Israeli counterparts hold this view.

While strong majorities of millennial American and Israeli Jews say it’s important for the world’s two biggest Jewish communities to maintain close ties and to support Israel, a new survey shows that the groups differ markedly on many aspects of that relationship.

The findings are part of twin surveys released Monday by the American Jewish Committee of  U.S. and Israeli Jews between the ages of 25 and 40.

The surveys, which the AJC calls the first of their kind, “provide vital insights into the thinking of emerging leaders engaged in Jewish life that will be critical to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between American and Israeli Jews,” said Dana Steiner, director of AJC ACCESS Global, in a press release. 

The findings show connection: 72% of American Jews and 89% of Israeli Jews in this age bracket find it very or somewhat important that the American Jewish and Israeli Jewish communities maintain close relations. And strong majorities of American and Israeli Jews think a strong state of Israel is very or somewhat necessary to the survival of Jewish people. 

But the surveys  also show how differently the two groups look at key issues, including solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the degree to which each community cares for the other.

Among the key takeaways of the surveys: 

  • Less than a fifth (19%) of American Jews, compared to a majority of their Israeli counterparts (56%), believe there is no viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of those who believe a viable solution is possible, similar percentages (47% of American Jews and 52% of Israeli Jews) most favor an independent Israeli and Palestinian states side by side. 
  • Far more American Jews than Israeli Jews (23% versus 5%) that believe a solution to the conflict is possible most favor one bi-national state with a single elected government.
  • American Jews (55%) are far more likely than Israeli Jews (23%) to think it is appropriate for American Jews to try to influence Israeli policy. 
  • More American Jews (59%) feel a great or some responsibility to help Jews in Israel than Israeli Jews (42%) feel toward American Jews.

The survey of Israeli Jews was conducted by Geocartography Knowledge Group from Feb. 14 to 22 and had 1001 participants and a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. The survey of American Jews, which had 800 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7%, was conducted by YouGov from Feb. 9 to March 30.

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