90% of Israelis believe Diaspora communities' value connection to Israel.
By HAVIV RETTIG GUR
The Israeli public overwhelmingly believes that the connection between Israel and world Jewry is vital for Israel's well-being and for the well-being of Jewish communities around the world, according to a study released by the United Jewish Communities (UJC) on Monday.
"The findings of the study confirm our growing sense that Israelis see their connection to North American Jewry as important," said UJC executive vice president Nachman Shay, who added that the study, conducted in November 2006, "supports our efforts to continue strengthening this connection."
Commissioned by the UJC and conducted by TNS Teleseker, the study found that 97 percent of Jewish Israelis over 18 believe that Israel's connection to Diaspora Jewish communities is "important" (17%) or "very important" (80%), while 64% believe that Diaspora Jews contribute in a significant way to Israel's existence and well-being.
Israelis also believe that the reverse is true, that Israel is crucial to the well-being of Diaspora Jewry, according to the study. Ninety percent believe Diaspora communities' connection to Israel is "important" (26%) or "very important" (64%) for Diaspora Jews, with 74% saying that Israel contributes "partially" (44%) or "significantly" (30%) to the existence and well-being of Diaspora communities.
The study also asked Israelis what actions on the part of Diaspora Jews were "most important" for Israel. Forty one percent said explaining Israel's position to the world was Diaspora Jewry's most important contribution to Israel, 30% cited financial contributions to the country, 15% the adoption of communities in Israel and 12% solidarity visits of Diaspora Jews to Israel.
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