New Survey Sheds Light on Attitudes toward Diaspora Jewry

A newly released survey, commissioned to gauge Israelis’ perceptions of the Diaspora, was released this week by the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. The survey was conducted as part of the ministry’s efforts to encourage the connection between Israelis and Diaspora Jewry and strengthen Diaspora ties to Israelis. Some of the highlights of particular interest to the Diaspora community include:

When asked how important Diaspora Jewry was to the State of Israel and how important Diaspora Jews were to the participants on an individual level, the results showed that 68% of the population felt that Diaspora Jewry was either “very important” (37%) or “extremely important” (31%) to the State of Israel, but only 42% said it was important to them as individuals.

The survey revealed that in both cases, the level of importance attributed to Diaspora Jewry was higher the more religious the respondents were, with 59% of those who identified themselves as religious stating that Diaspora Jewry was very or extremely important to them on a personal level, compared to 38% among secular respondents.

When it came to the question of Israel investing funds in activities in the Diaspora, 84% of the respondents said they were aware of Israel’s investment and a total of 94% said that Israel should indeed invest money in those activities to some degree.

Asked whether people who converted to Judaism outside of the Orthodox system should be considered part of the Jewish people, 82% of secular Jews, 42% of traditional Jews and 12% of religious Jews answered “yes.”