Portrait of Israeli Jewry: Beliefs, Observances, and Values among Israeli Jews 2000

By Shlomit Levy, Elihu Katz, Hanna Levinsohn

AVI CHAI Foundation, The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), June 2002

lsraeli Jews have a strong Jewish identity. A large majority want Israel to have a Jewish character even though they cannot agree on the parameters of this character. A large majority consider themselves part of the Jewish people-even though their closeness to Diaspora Jewry is waning. Most Israeli Jews feel some sort of connection with Jewish tradition and observe at least some of its practices and life-cycle rituals. Basically, Jews in Israel are committed to two distinct values: tradition and individual freedom of choice. For the groups at the two ends of the religious identity spectrum-the haredim/strictly observant and the anti-religious--one of these values completely overshadows the other. The vast majority of Israeli Jews, however, attempt to integrate the two. Several findings of this study are disturbing, notably the deterioration in the perceived quality of intergroup relations in Israeli Jewish society and an increasing distance between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry. The sense of intra- Israeli and pan-Jewish unity is eroding. Furthermore, among the nonreligious (especially Ashkenazim and the better-educated), the in intensity of Jewish identity is gradually declining and there is confusion regarding the meaning of the term 'Jew' and the definition of the character and attributes that the Jewish state should possess. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that what characterizes most Jews in Israel is their adherence to a personal Jewish identity alongside their wish to shape a public Jewish identity.

Topic: Israel-Diaspora Relations, Faith, Religious Observance, Israeli Culture, Values, Diaspora Relations, Russian Jews, Immigration, Jewish Identification, Belief, Ethnicity, Unity, Secularism

Funder: Avi Chai Foundation

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Genre: Report

Coverage: Israel

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Levy, Shlomit. Katz, Elihu. Levinsohn, Hanna. Portrait of Israeli Jewry: Beliefs, Observances, and Values among Israeli Jews 2000. AVI CHAI Foundation,The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI). June 2002: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=12878


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