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Shabbat candles
Photo:Yisrael Bardugo
Poll: 40% of secular Jews keep kosher
Survey conducted for progressive Judaism movement shows 47 percent of secular families never light Shabbat candles, 67 percent of traditional Jews got to synagogue regularly

Thirty-eight percent of secular Jews living in Israel keep kosher often or at all times, while 36 percent of Israeli families that define themselves as secular light Shabbat candles, according to a recent survey conducted by Market Watch for the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.

 

The survey's results were presented at the movement's recent conference at Kibbutz Shefayim.

 

According to the survey, 50 percent of Israeli Jews don't keep kosher at all times, and 47 percent of secular families never light Shabbat candles. Twenty percent of the respondents said they go to synagogue on a regular basis, while 42 percent said they never attend prayer service.

 

Among tradition Jews living in Israel, 67 percent go to synagogue regularly, 87 percent light Shabbat candles every Friday and 94 percent keep kosher.

 

When asked what religious movement they feel closer to, 49 percent of secular Israeli Jews said they identify with the progressive moment, while only 10 percent of those polled said they identify with Orthodox movement. A quarter of secular Israelis said they do not identify with any religious movement.

 

The poll furthermore revealed that 71 percent of secular Israelis are in favor of adding liberal Jewish content to the school curriculum, as opposed to 24 percent who said they were against the idea.

 

Respondents who defined themselves as secular represent Israel's more affluent sector as far as education and income are concerned. This segment of the population considers democracy to be the highest value and identifies with modern Judaism.

 

While not as prosperous, traditional Israelis play an important role in bridging the gap between secular and Orthodox Israelis.

 

The poll was taken among 1,035 Jewish men and women in Israel aged 18 and up. 

 

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