Many recent developments have fostered speculation that American Jews are becoming alienated from Israel. If true, such a development would have far-reaching consequences, particularly in two areas. First, a perceived dampening of American Jewish enthusiasm for Israel could eventually translate into reduced U.S. economic, military, and diplomatic support for the Jewish state. Second, Israel has been a major element of American Jewish group identity. Any changes in these attitudes and actions are likely to have profound consequences for contemporary Jewish identity and institutional life.
To increase understanding of how American Jews feel about Israel, and why, the Institute on American Jewish-Israeli Relations commissioned this nationwide study of American Jewry. The study investigated such issues as the depth of psychic attachment to Israel, the extent of involvement in pro-Israel activities, perceptions about Israelis, conflicting attitudes toward Israeli foreign policy and public figures, and anxieties about general American attitudes toward Jews and toward Israel.