As American Jews prepare for the Passover Seder and the recounting of the Exodus of their ancestors from Egypt, the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner has released the results of a new survey of American Jewish leaders demonstrating American Jews are of two minds about recent developments in Egypt. On the one hand, they warmly greet the apparent turn to democracy and human rights. At the same time, they are unsure of the implications for Israel and the Jewish State’s long-standing peace treaty with Egypt.

Moreover, American Jews split sharply along political lines. The politically conservative and Republican partisans fear that the developments will undermine Egypt’s commitment to maintaining its non-belligerent approach toward Israel and are skeptical about the likelihood of advancing democracy and human rights in Egypt. To be sure, situated between the two poles of cautious celebration and watchful skepticism is the “modal middle” of American Jewish leadership, characterized by ambiguity, ambivalence, and indecision.

These findings emerge from an online, opt-in survey of Jewish leaders conducted by Professors Steven M. Cohen of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner and Samuel Abrams, who is Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Politics, Sarah Lawrence College. Fielded by Research Success Technologies of Israel under the direction of Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz, the survey was conducted in March, 2011, before the role of the Muslim Brotherhood came into sharper focus. The survey of non-random lists of Jewish leaders elicited responses from 1,859 respondents.

Download the full press release and full survey results here.