The majority of Jewish American Millennials believe that being connected to Israel is important to their Jewish identity, according to a new American Jewish Committee survey. The survey was done for ACCESS, AJC’s young professional program, and AJC’s Contemporary Jewish Life Department.
“Gauging the views of millennials is critical to ensuring strong, enduring ties between the world’s two largest Jewish communities,” said Dana Steiner, the director of AJC ACCESS Global. “Our pioneering surveys provide vital insights into the thinking of emerging leaders engaged in Jewish life that will be critical to strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation between American and Israeli Jews, and also address challenges and opportunities.”
The AJC surveyed Jewish millennials in both the U.S. and Israel. The AJC said it was the first-ever survey that highlighted the perspectives, attitudes, and opinions of millennial American and Israeli Jews.
Significant majorities of American (72%) and Israeli (89%) Jewish millennials say it is important that the American Jewish community and Israel maintain close ties, with 48% of Americans and 46% of Israelis saying it is very important.
A vast majority — 80% of millennial Israelis and 70% of millennial American Jews — think a strong State of Israel is necessary for the survival of the Jewish people, and 81% of Americans and 70% of Israelis think a strong Jewish community outside of Israel is necessary.
Key areas of difference
As aligned the two groups are in some areas, there are significant differences as well.
- More than 69 percent of Israelis surveyed believe that it’s not too appropriate or not at all appropriate for American Jews to be influencing Israeli policy, while the 55 percent of Americans surveyed feel it is very or somewhat appropriate to do so.
- American Jews also feel more responsible to help fellow Jews in Israel (58 percent) than Israeli Jews feel about helping American Jews (42 percent).
- Israelis surveyed are also vastly more pessimistic about finding a viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with 56 percent feeling there isn’t a viable solution, versus 53 percent of Americans who believe there is a viable solution.
For more on the survey, check out the AJC website.