Survey showing intermarriage is ravaging the American Jews.
(photo credit: BRENDAN MACDERMID / REUTERS)
Almost 80 percent of Israelis believe Israel’s future is dependent on the
country’s relations with American Jewry, according to a poll released on
The survey – commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation –
exploring Israeli attitudes toward American Jewry was conducted among 500
Israelis by Teleseker in November.
The margin of error was
In response to the question, “To what extent, in your opinion, is
the future of Israel connected [to] and dependent on Diaspora Jewry in general
and specifically American Jewry?” 17% said it was dependent “to a very great
extent,” 27.1% “to a great extent,” and 34.7% “to some extent.” Only 9.1% said
they felt “not very connected/ dependent,” and 11.8% “not dependent at
In the wake of the recent Pew poll of American Jewry, which found
among the younger generation that only about one-third feel that concern for
Israel is a central component of their Jewish identity, respondents were asked:
In the near future, will “support for the State of Israel by American Jews
strengthen, weaken, or remain at the level it is today?” Only 14.8% said it
would strengthen, 32% said it would weaken, 44.8% said it would stay the same,
and 8.4 % said they didn’t know.
Asked for their response to the
increasing number of American Jews who do not raise their children as Jews as
well as the increase in intermarriage, 7.8% said “frustration,” 38.1% said
“concern,” 22.9% expressed “sadness,” 26.2% “indifference,” and 5% didn’t
The poll was discussed in a meeting of the Knesset Caucus for
Israel-US Relations on Wednesday, attended by Ruderman Family Foundation
president Jay Ruderman, American Reform leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Tzohar head
Rabbi David Stav.
Stav said the question of the Jewish state’s
relationship with US Jewry “is critical for Israel’s future.”
committed because we are all brothers,” said Stav.
“The first problem to
deal with is giving honor to one another.”
Jacobs called for tolerance
among Judaism’s various streams.
“The founders of this country found
strength in their diversity – so should we!” he said.
Reform movements are flowering and growing in Israel.”
the dialogue “frank and meaningful.”
“Israeli society and the American
Jewish community exist in very different realities, yet Jews in America play a
strategic role in securing Israel’s future,” said Ruderman. “Our foundation
helped establish the Israel-US Caucus in the Knesset in order to encourage a
more sophisticated and informed discussion between the communities.”