President Shimon Peres meets with Sepahrdi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, April 20, 2014..
A broad survey of opinions in the national-religious community conducted for the Beit Hillel rabbinical association reveals an extremely large proportion believes the Chief Rabbinate does not represents them.
Other significant results of the survey include the finding that of those defined as “haredi-national religious,” a term referring to the more conservative parts of the community, 66.2 percent believe that refusing orders to evacuate settlements in Judea and Samaria is legitimate; a large proportion of the community thinks it is undesirable to separate religion and state; but that the majority of mainstream members of the national-religious sector, and the overwhelming majority of those defining themselves as “modern-religious,” believe that in a conflict between Jewish law and the laws of the state, the laws of the state should take precedence.
The survey was conducted by Stravity Group and was disseminated and promoted in various ways to national- religious websites, Web forums and institutes as well as via social media.
In total, 3,416 people answered the survey.
However Beit Hillel pointed out that the point of the survey was not to measure the component parts of the national-religious community but to get a broad understanding of opinions in the community.
The organization also acknowledged that conducting an Internet survey instead of a poll by random telephone interview meant that younger members of the community from relatively well-off backgrounds might be over-represented in the survey.
Respondents were asked if the Chief Rabbinate represents their values.
Just 6.4% of those who identified as modern-religious respondents agreed with the statement, as did 19.2% of those identifying as mainstream national-religious, and 37.3 percent of those identifying as haredi-national religious.
A total of 34.5% of modern-religious respondents agreed with the statement that separation of church and state would improve life in Israel, as did 14.1% of the mainstream national- religious community and 10.5% of the haredi-national religious group.
As much as 79.3% of the haredi-religious sector said that Jewish law should take precedence over state law, compared with 45% for the mainstream group and 21.1% for the modern- religious group.
There was, however, widespread support for women to take on communal leadership roles, with 79.3% of modern religious and 59.9% of mainstream religious respondents agreeing with this statement, as opposed to 24.3% of the haredi-religious respondents.
The survey showed widespread support across the spectrum of the national-religious community for engagement with the broader Israeli society.
Just 3.5% of modern religious, 6.3% of mainstream religious and 22.7% of haredi religious supported the statement that the national-religious community should close itself off from secular society.
Additionally, 86.5% of modern religious, 78.3% of mainstream religious and 59.8% of haredi religious agreed with the statement that religious and secular people should maintain close friendships.
Beit Hillel said the survey showed that three discernible divisions have arisen with the national-religious community, the first two being “those who prefer to remain more connected to religious life and to separate from general society, and those who were not succeeding in bridging the growing gap between their religious world and general modern culture and are being blown off course towards the latter.”
“In between, there are those who choose to disregard these two groups because of the confusion in values they find themselves in. Sometimes they have a religious inclination, and sometimes broader mindsets.”
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