AJC survey of Latinos finds positive views, limited contact with Jews

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A survey commissioned by the American Jewish Committee found that Latinos held positive views about Jews, but have had limited contact with them. 

"Latino opinions are hampered by limited contact and general unfamiliarity with Jews,” according to Latino Decisions, the company that carried out the survey for the AJC. Its conclusion, nonetheless, was that "Latinos hold many positive views about the Jewish community."

A majority of Latinos held a positive view of Jews’ commitment to faith, family and social change, according to the survey, with 78 percent of respondents agreeing that Jews are committed to family life and 61 percent of respondents believed that Jews make positive cultural contributions to America.

In a press statement, Dina Siegel Vann, director of AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute, noted that the survey “will inform and advance our ongoing efforts to engage Latino communities, form coalitions, and deepen understanding of American Jews and Israel.”

“The Latino and Jewish communities are models for enriching U.S. society by expressing multiple identities,” Siegel Vann said in the press statement.

The survey, released April 11, was conducted among 2,000 Latinos by telephone from Aug. 12 to Sept. 16, 2011, in Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Kansas City, Mo. There were follow-up discussions with focus groups during November and December.

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