Monday, July 09, 2012

Younger Jews Care More About Israel

An interesting new survey finds that Jews thirty-five and younger feel more attachment to Israel than the next oldest age cohort (35-45), though still than those 45 and older. This runs counter to conventional wisdom that Jewish attachment to Israel is declining among the younger generation (and, since the survey explicitly excluded Orthodox Jews and alums of Jewish day schools, it's not a result of expanding numbers of very observant Jews either).

Perhaps equally important is that the rise in this younger cohort runs parallel to a drop in confidence with the Israeli government. This doesn't surprise me -- as I often repeat, caring about something means having opinions about it (this is also why David Bernstein's defense of "pure" Israel advocacy makes little sense) -- but it is demonstrative of the fact that the younger generation's willingness to put pressure on the Israeli government comes from a sense that Israel is important and needs friends -- not a stance of anti-Israel rejectionism.

2 comments:

Matt said...

The authors of the survey cited by Peter Beinart and others criticized him sharply for misrepresenting the findings. As they argued, it's been a fixture for a long time in Jewish polling that younger Jews express less attachment to Israel. So, rather than a generational effect, there's probably an age effect, wherein these same younger Jews will grow into greater support for Israel. So the CW was wrong.

David Schraub said...

Right, but this survey has younger Jews more attached than the next-oldest cohort -- so both the CW and Beinart's misstatement of it are wrong.