The Pew survey also asked respondents about what it means to be Jewish, offering several options. The most popular element was remembering the Holocaust at 73 percent, followed by leading an ethical life at 69 percent.
Fifty-six percent cited working for justice and equality; 43 percent said caring about Israel; 42 percent said having a good sense of humor; and 19 percent said observing Jewish law.
Sixty-two percent of respondents said being Jewish is primarily a matter of ancestry and culture; 15 percent said it was mainly a matter of religion. Most Jews said it is not necessary to believe in God to be Jewish. In the survey, 60 percent said a person cannot be Jewish and believe that Jesus is the messiah.
About the Author: Uriel Heilman is managing editor of JTA. An award-winning journalist, he has worked in a variety of positions for publications in the United States and in Israel, including as New York bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post.
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