Israelis willing to help Diaspora Jewry


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 60 percent of Israelis support using their tax money to assist Diaspora Jewish communities, a new survey found.

Among 18- to 24-year-olds, the support for using tax money to provide basic services such as education, health care and food to Diaspora Jewish communities was at 73 percent, according to the annual Survey of Contemporary Israeli Attitudes Toward World Jewry, conducted on behalf of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem.

Some 54 percent of those surveyed said the Reform and Conservative movements should receive equal status and funding in Israel as the Orthodox movement, with 36 percent saying they were opposed.

In addition, 44 percent support the State of Israel recognizing Reform and Conservative conversion, while 49 percent believe that only conversions performed by the Chief Rabbinate should be recognized by the state.

Fifty-three percent of those polled believed that Diaspora Jewry should consider the opinions of Israelis when deciding issues such as who to vote for or which policies that impact Israel’s future should be supported or opposed. However, only 40 percent thought that Israelis should consider the opinions of Diaspora Jewry on the same issues.

In addition, 46 percent of those polled believed that American Jewish organizations are not doing enough to bridge policy differences and ease the tensions between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government. Only 23 percent said the organizations are doing enough.

The telephone survey of 500 Jewish Israelis over 18 was conducted June 9-11. There is a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

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