web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Survey: Big Upswing in Religiosity in Israel

Israelis

Photo Credit: Matanya Tausig/Flash 90

A newly-released study shows that while Israel continues to achieve major secular advances in fields such as science and technology, agriculture and economy, the populace is more religious now than ever before.

In a study called ‘Beliefs, Observance and Values among Israeli Jews’ commissioned in 2009 by the AVI CHAI Foundation and released on January 26, the Guttman Center at the Israel Democracy Institute reported that 80 percent of Jews living in Israel believe in God, more than ever reported in the two decades the study has taken place.

In comparison with the last studies on the subject, conducted in 1991 and 1999, more Israeli Jews consider themselves religious or “ultra-Orthodox” than previously.  Just 3% considered themselves “anti-religious seculars” down from 6% in 1999, with 15% calling themselves religious (up from 11%) and 7% Haredi (up from 5%), with 32% describing themselves as traditional.

Overall, members of the Sephardic community (Jews of Middle Eastern, North African and Spanish descent) had more religious respondents and fewer seculars, with former citizens of the Former Soviet Union expressing more secular sentiments and more removal from traditional practices.

Despite a large percentage of the population calling themselves secular, a whopping 72% agreed that prayer can help a person’s situation, 67% believe the Jews are God’s chosen nation, and 65% think the guidance prescribed by the Torah comes from God.  Just over a third of Israelis believe failure to observe Torah commandments puts fellow Jews in danger.  On the flip side, 80% believe that God rewards good deeds and 51% believe in the coming of the Messiah.  An overwhelming 92% agreed that one can be a good Jew even if one is not religiously observant. Only 40% said a child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother could be considered Jewish.

While 61% believed that Conservative and Reform streams of Judaism should have equal recognition to Orthodoxy in Israel, less than half (48%) accept non-Orthodox conversions as sufficient for being recognized as Jewish.

The study shows that Jews typically adhere to Jewish customs, with 94% calling ritual circumcision highly important, 92% saying the same about the Jewish mourning ritual of sitting shiva, 91% agreeing bar mitzvahs are highly important, and 90% believing it is crucial to say Kaddish for deceased parents. While 80% called having a Jewish marriage with a rabbi important, 51% said Israeli should enable civil marriages without rabbinical supervision.  One third of respondents said they observe the Sabbath scrupulously, though 65% said they watch television or listen to the radio on Shabbat.

As for holidays, 82% light Hanukkah candles, 68% fast on Yom Kippur, and 67% abandon leavened foods during the week long Passover holiday.  Just 36%, however, hear the reading of the Book of Esther on Purim.

At home, 76% of Jews said they keep kosher, though only 63% responded that they are meticulous about separating milk and meat products. Most Israelis (72%) would never eat pork.

Research about the relationship between religion and politics was also conducted as part of the study. Most respondents (65%) said they are interested or very interested in religion’s place in the state, with even more saying they are concerned with what it means to be a Jewish state (70%).  A hefty 87% said food served in public institutions should be kosher.

Eighty-five percent of self-described Hareidi Jews and 49% of religious Jews said that if they had to choose between obeying Jewish law or state law, they would choose Jewish law. An overwhelming 88% said they want to live in Israel for the long-term, with 84% calling themselves Zionists.

A huge improvement was felt in the relationship between secular and religious Jews in the recent survey.  While just 29% said relations between the two were good or very good in 1991, and a paltry 17% in 1999, a sizable 43% said the groups get along well in 2009.

According to a report in Haaretz, the rise in religiosity can be attributed to the successful absorption and assimilation of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and the high birthrate among Orthodox and Hareidi citizens.

The research was conducted in face-to-face interviews with 2,803 Israeli Jews.

About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Survey: Big Upswing in Religiosity in Israel”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A scene from the opera "Death of Klinghoffer." Protests at Lincoln Center start Sept. 22, at 4:30.
Klinghoffer: Pretending Art Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
Latest News Stories
Tourists  ride segways down a promenade in Tel Aviv.

The US warns people to buy gas masks if visiting, Israel warns of world-wide anti-Semitism.

Unwelcome sign for Jews.

This happened in Britain in 2014, not in Germany in 1939.

A scene from the opera "Death of Klinghoffer." Protests at Lincoln Center start Sept. 22, at 4:30.

The Met’s upcoming opera trivializes the murder of Jews, pretends Jews have no connection to Israel, and portrays terrorists as victims.

Toy doll filled with ammunition was discovered in package destined for Uzbekistan.

Never, never, never take packages from someone without knowing what is inside.

Anti-radical Islam begins to trump anti-Semitism.

The presence of ISIS has created a “great need” for Hezbollah to remain in Syria, says an official from the Lebanese terror group’s executive council.

Gadi Yarkoni, the last person injured during Operation Protective Edge, was released today from Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

Hamas denies its politburo chief Khaled Meshaal will leave Qatar; the monarchy evicted Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

United Nations peacekeepers are pulling out of Syria and heading for the Israeli side of the border due to deteriorating security.

Police arrest three in connection with anti-Semitic vandalism in Sderot, including slathered green swastikas and dripping red Satanic symbols.

Yaalon revealed that most of the “8200″ signers do not do reserve duty, and the few that do, haven’t done any in years.

Residents of Gaza Belt communities in the south headed for bomb shelters on a false alarm at midday Monday. Northern Israel was hit earlier.

11:41am Talk about really bad timing. Sirens heard in Shomron communities were an (unannounced) siren test in the community of Maaleh Shomron. The siren was heard in Karnei Shomron, Ginot Shomron, Yakir, Nofim and Emmanuel. It was *only* a test. 11:39 am OK. Now this is just strange. Rocket Siren heard in Karnei Shomron (in the Shomron) […]

12:04pm IDF says there was no rocket launch at Israel from Gaza. Gazan sources say a rocket misfired and landed inside Gaza. No explosions or rocket landings were heard inside Israel. Conclusion: It’s more likely that no rocket was launched and it was a false alarm. We will update this article, if we learn something new. […]

PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly plans to ask French Pres. Francois Hollande to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign nation.

For the first time ever, Israel appoints a woman to serve as ambassador to an Arab country. Einat Schlein is posted to Jordan.

More Articles from Malkah Fleisher
Godzilla (R.)

A green bell pepper affectionately dubbed “Godzilla” by the children of Moshav Ein Yahav in the northern Arava desert has won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Though the permissibility of watching hired sports players go to battle in a large stadium is a source of controversy amongst Torah observant Jews, the food being served at the upcoming Super Bowl games in New Orleans is not.

Rabbi Yitzchok Moully, youth director at the Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, will be introducing a new art installation in honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of Trees, inspired by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.

More than 2,000 people have made contributions in memory of the young victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut to plant a grove of trees in Israel.

Shoshana Hebshi, a half-Jewish, half-Arab woman from Ohio is suing Frontier Airlines, the FBI, TSA and other governmental agencies after she says she was forced off a flight, strip-searched, and imprisoned on the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.

Women may enter military combat in the United States, following the lift of a military ban on women in combat by defense secretary Leon Panetta.

The Jewish National Fund will reconsider a plan to forest parts of the Arava desert, following the request of environmental organizations to consider the impact of trying to alter the native ecosystem.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Israel and western countries not to attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear program through military means.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/survey-big-upswing-in-religiosity-in-israel/2012/01/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: