Photo Credit: Erez Uzir / Birthright
The first Birthright Israel group after a year-long absence due to the coronavirus pandemic, May 24, 2021.

The majority of Jewish Israelis. 62%, believe the State of Israel must support world Jewry in times of need such as in economic or natural disasters, Israel’s new ‘Diaspora Index’ shows.

Minister of Diaspora Affairs Dr. Nachman Shai presented Israel’s new ‘Diaspora Index’ to President Isaac Herzog on Sunday to kick off the festivities of this week’s “Diaspora Week.”


The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs commissioned the in-depth study of Israeli public opinion to coincide with the week-long celebration of the bonds between the State of Israel and Jewish communities around the world.

The poll showed that a small majority of 56% of Jewish Israelis have a sense of kinship with Jews in the Diaspora.

A similar majority of 57% believe that the state must take world Jewry’s interests into account when making major security decisions that could affect the safety of Jewish communities abroad. This figure falls to 49% when considering matters of religion and state in Israel.

Another important finding showed that 85% of Jewish Israelis believe Israel must play a central role in combatting anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on the internet.

“Many decisions made by the government of Israel affect the eight million Jews who live outside of Israel,” said Minister Shai after reviewing the study. “We must take into consideration their concerns and perspectives, and of course be proactive in the ongoing campaign against anti-Semitism. I am encouraged to see this sentiment growing ever stronger among the Israeli public.”

He noted that the nature of the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora has evolved since the state was established due to “generational changes” in both parts of the Jewish people, and that it is critical to understand how societal shifts in Israel impact this relationship.

“The index, which we are publishing for the fifth year in a row, provides quantitative figures to evaluate the prevailing attitudes in Israel towards the Diaspora and how this affects the mutual relationship. This will be an important basis for strategic planning and programming within the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs,” he explained.

Herzog stated upon receiving the report that “in a globalized world that encourages young people to abandon their identities and be citizens of the world, and amid a culture which emphasizes the unique qualities of the individual at the expense of society, family, and the nation, many Jews, especially among the younger generations, are asking themselves ‘What is the purpose of our existence as a people, what is the purpose of my existence as a Jew.’”

“But we have a common story, a common Jewish narrative, and it is this which touches not only our past and our roots but guides and influences our lives today and our shared future,” he declared.

Other key findings show that 78% of Israeli Jews are personally worried when they hear about anti-Semitic attacks against Jews abroad.

Only 37% of Israeli Jews feel a sense of personal responsibility towards Jews in the Diaspora who have chosen not to make Aliyah [immigrate] to Israel.

58% of Israeli Jews agree that Israel is responsible for continued Jewish existence in the Diaspora, but only 38% of the respondents believe that Israel should invest resources in Jewish identity and communities in the Diaspora, just as it invests in culture and Jewish identity in Israel.

58% of Israeli Jews agree that the State of Israel has responsibility for the safety of Jews around the world who suffer from anti-Semitic attacks.

49% of Israeli Jews think that Israeli society should take into account the opinions and concerns of Jews in the Diaspora on matters of religion and state such as conversion, prayer access at the Western Wall, and similar issues.

57% of Israeli Jews think that the State of Israel needs to take into consideration the concerns of Jewish communities in the Diaspora when it makes decisions on issues of foreign policy and security which could impact the standing and situation of Jews abroad.

85% of Israeli Jews believe that the State of Israel must act to combat anti-Semitic and anti-Israel dialogue on social media.


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