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August 26, 2015 5:28 pm

Poll: Modern Orthodox Most Stridently Zionist Group Among US Jewry

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A group of Orthodox Jews. Photo: Wiki Commons.

A group of Orthodox Jews. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Among Jewish denominations, the Modern Orthodox have the greatest zeal for the state of Israel emotionally, politically and religiously, a Pew survey revealed on Wednesday.

Among Haredi, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, non-denominational, Jews who adhere to the faith and Jews who do not, the Modern Orthodox were the most likely to have a strong emotional attachment to Israel (77%) and believe that Israel is the Jewish people’s God-given land (90%). By comparison, the next group that ranked highest with these beliefs was also Orthodox, the Haredi movement, at 55% saying they were very emotionally attached to Israel and 84% expressing that Israel was the Jewish people’s from God.

On the political front, Modern Orthodox Jews were the most likely group to believe the U.S. was not supportive enough of Israel (64%) and that the current Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was making sincere efforts for peace (73%).

By comparison, only 28% of non-Orthodox Jews believed that the U.S. was not supportive enough of Israel, and just 36% said Israel was making sincere gestures of peace to the Palestinians.

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Additionally, non-Orthodox Jews (64%) were much more likely than Orthodox Jews (30%) to believe in a viable two-state solution with Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side.

Orthodox Jews (16%) were also far less likely than non-Orthodox Jews (47%) to believe that the Jewish settlements in the disputed West Bank territories hurt Israeli security. Just 12% of Modern Orthodox Jews shared this belief.

The study focused in the nuances among different religious streams in American Jewry. It found that 10% of U.S. identifying Jews, or about 530,000 individuals, were Orthodox, and that Orthodox Jews (including Haredi and the Modern Orthodox) made up a larger share of young families and tended to have far more children (4.1 vs. 1.7 children ever born to adults ages 40-59) than Jews of other streams.

It defined Haredi as Jews who follow strict religious law called halacha, but tend to see that lifestyle as incompatible with secular society, and Modern Orthodox as Jews who follow religious laws closely but work to integrate into the wider society.

The survey posed the idea that if trends continue, Orthodox Jews, who are largely more conservative, have larger families and identify more with the Republican Party, could change the face of U.S. Jewry — which is typically more liberal and well-educated — over the next few decades.

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