Yediot Ahronot published a survey of Israeli Jewish adults on May 5, aimed at showing where the nation stood on its 66th birthday and where the younger generation was headed. Broken down by generation — over 50, 35 to 49 and under 35 — it shows a population that’s growing steadily more religious, more politically right-wing and more pessimistic about where the country is headed and their own generation’s economic prospects.
The telephone survey was conducted by pollster Rafi Smith April 24-28 in a representative sample of 500 Israeli Jewish adults. Margin of error 4.5%
For the sake of brevity, we’ll call the three generations O for over 50, M for middle (35-49) and Y for younger, aged 18 to 34. CA stands for combined national average.
Is Israel headed in the right direction?
Yes/No: O = 33/46, M = 29/54, Y = 24/63. CA = 29/54.
Are your generation’s economic prospects better or worse than your parent’s generation? Better/Worse: O = 65/27, M = 53/40, Y = 45/45.
How would you describe your political worldview? Right/Center/Left:
O = 47/25/28, M = 50/21/29, Y = 58/20/22. CA = 51/22/27.
How would you define yourself religiously? (Religious = Orthodox + Haredi)
Religious/Traditional/Secular: O = 15/31/54, M = 19/25/56, Y = 30/21/49.
Do you have a smartphone? If yes, do you use it to connect to the Internet?
Have, connect/Have, don’t connect/Don’t have:
O = 30/18/52, M = 68/6/26, Y = 69/6/25. CA = 54/10/36.
Do regularly read books? If so, do you read print, electronic or both?
Print/Elec/Both/Rarely: O = 58/3/7/32, M = 58/7/8/27, Y = 55/6/13/26.
Did you participate in political or social activism in the past year?
O = 12, M = 20, Y = 21. CA = 17.
(5% participated in demonstration, 3% signed petition, 3% met a politician, 2% belong to a party)
Do you agree/disagree with the idea that most of the Western world is against us? Agree: O = 47, M = 47, Y = 63. CA = 52.
Without connection to your current family situation, would you agree to your children living abroad? Yes: O = 40, M = 56, Y = 56. CA = 50. Men 54, Women 46.
In a televised discussion accompanying the article on Yediot’s Ynet website, pollster Smith said that the dramatic rise in the Orthodox proportion of the under-35 population is due to high birthrate in the Orthodox community. Also of note, he said that the openness to living abroad was significantly higher among secular than among Orthodox.
A Portrait of Israelis in 2014, By the Numbers
J.J. Goldberg is editor emeritus of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).