1 in 5 Israeli Jews celebrates New Year’s Eve

Secular Jews are somewhat more likely to mark New Year’s Eve, with 35% saying they celebrate on the date, whereas just 4% of national-religious, and 1% of haredi Israeli Jews say they do.

By
December 31, 2018 02:45
1 minute read.
New Year 2012 celebrated throughout world

New Year 2012 celebration. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Some 20% of Israeli Jews celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Gregorian Calendar on December 31, but the majority of Israeli society remains uninterested in this non-Jewish celebration.

According to a study by the Jewish People Policy Institute, 78% of the Israeli Jewish population consider it a “completely ordinary day,” while just 6% say it is “the real New Year’s Eve and conduct any form of self-reflection.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year at the beginning of the month of Tishrei, the month beforehand and the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the traditional time in the Jewish calendar for soul searching, reflection and self-improvement.

Secular Jews are somewhat more likely to mark New Year’s Eve, with 35% saying they celebrate on the date, whereas just 4% of national-religious, and 1% of haredi Israeli Jews say they do.

Of the 20% marking New Year’s Eve, called Sylvester in Hebrew, approximately 8% are immigrants from the former USSR who said they celebrate Novi God, a civil and cultural festival that became deeply entrenched within Russian culture, and was brought to Israel by Soviet immigrants.

Five % of Israeli Jews have a tree at home, about 60,000 to 70,000 Jewish households according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, to celebrate Novi God.


It is also customary to exchange gifts in these households.

Customs from Christmas were transferred from the religious festival to the secular, civil Novi God celebration in the former Soviet Union.

Novi God is Russian for “new year,” and has traditionally been celebrated in the states of the former Soviet Union. It is also often celebrated by Israeli citizens who emigrated from that region, but is largely viewed as a non-Jewish celebration and is typically disdained in Orthodox circles, since some symbols of Christmas, such Christmas trees, have been associated with the celebration.

The data was drawn by the JPPI from a survey of 3,000 Israeli Jews with a reported statistical margin of error of +/- 1.8%.


Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

New president elect of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky met with the Chabad Chief Rabbis on May 6, 2019
May 24, 2019
Will the Ukranian Embassy move to Jerusalem?

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA