The recently released Guttman-AVI CHAI report, A Portrait of Israeli Jews: Beliefs, Observance, and Values of Israeli Jews, is creating quite a stir. Not just for the findings released in the report, but for survey findings absent from the final report. Look for this issue to develop legs in the near future.
from Rosner’s Domain:
Eight percent of Israeli Jews define themselves as Conservative or Reform Jews compared to just seven percent of Israelis who define themselves as “Haredi” (ultra-Orthodox). Amazing? I think it is quite amazing, should one consider the never-ending discussion of Haredi power and growing population and the very little regard given to the liberal streams of Judaism within Israel.
But commentary and amazement aside, the data is what counts here, and this data was found buried deep within the vast survey of the Guttman Center…
The much more interesting finding though is the one related to self-definition of Israelis – the one I mentioned in the opening sentence of this article. Question number 157, the answers to which were not included [emphasis added] in the Guttman report, asked: “How would you define yourself religiously?” and the options were: Haredi, Haredi-Leumi (Zionist ultra-Orthodox), Dati-Leumi (Zionist-Orthodox), Conservative, Reform, Other, Do not belong to any stream.
Half of Israelis (50 percent) do not belong to any stream. These are the more than 40 percent of the self-defined “secular” and probably some “traditional” Israelis as well. The surprising number is the combined number of “liberal” religious Israelis: 8 percent.
You can read the complete article, Can you believe it? Israel has more Conservative and Reform Jews than Haredis, on JewishJournal.com.