American Jews Want More Pluralistic Israel: Poll
A survey found that United States Jews want Israel to remain a Jewish and democratic state, but that Israel’s Jewish character should also accommodate non-Orthodox Judaism.
The survey, put out by the Jewish Agency’s jewish People Policy Institute and released Thursday, was conducted by holding discussions and seminars with Jewish groups across the U.S., as well as by sending out questionnaires and analyzing external research.
The survey found that U.S. Jews also disagree with the state’s handling of religion and state matters, including Israel’s recognizing only Orthodox marriage and granting authority to the largely haredi Orthodox rabbinate. U.S. Jews also feel, according to the survey, that the state should ensure that all citizens have equal rights while still maintaining its Jewish character.
In terms of Israel’s relationship with its neighbors, the survey found that U.S. Jews recognize that Israel is located in a hostile region, but feels that regional securit6y thereats should not justify Israel’s disregarding human rights or democratic values.
U.S. Jews feel that Israel should strive to end its control of the Palestinians.
The survey’s results are “positive and optimistic, contrary to dismal reports we hear about distancing of Diaspora Jews from Israel,” said Shmuel Rosner, an Israeli journalist who co-headed the project. “The report also indicates that there is a strong need througout the Jewish world for a deep connection with Israel.