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Member of Women of the Wall group praying at Western Wall
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Majority of Israelis back Women of Wall
Peace Index poll shows support for liberal female worshippers greatest among Israeli Jews born in US and Europe, college graduates and seculars
VIDEO – The majority of Israeli Jews support the Women of the Wall group, according to the latest monthly Peace Index poll released by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University following recent altercations at the Western Wall and legal rulings on the limits of public prayer there.

 

Israelis were surveyed on their attitudes towards the Women of the Wall’s quest to pray out loud and wear a prayer shawl and tefillin (phylacteries) at the holy site.

 

Video courtesy of jn1.tv

 

Questioned about their overall attitude, 48% of Israeli Jews back the Women of the Wall, while 38% do not.

 

Support for the Women of the Wall is highest among self-defined secular Israeli Jews (64%) and the traditional-non-religious (53%). Traditional-religious (26%), religious (28%), and ultra-Orthodox (0%) support them to a lesser degree.

 

The backing differs dramatically based on background: Support for the Women of the Wall is highest among Israelis born in America or Europe (77%), followed by Israelis whose parents were born in America or Europe (61%), Israelis whose parents were born in Israel (46%), Israeli whose parents were born in Asia or Africa (43%), Israelis from the former Soviet Union (38%), and Israeli who were born in Asia or Africa (33%).

 

A higher percentage of Israeli Jewish men (52%) back the Women of the Wall than women (46%).

 

A larger proportion of those with academic degrees (57%) support the Women of the Wall than those with some post-high school education (41%), a high school degree (40%), and those with less education (41%).

 

When later told that the Jerusalem District Court had ruled that the Women of the Wall were not violating the “local custom” and were not breaking the law, support for Women of the Wall grew to 56%, while 34% maintained their opposition.

 

Support for Women of the Wall increased among all sub-groups, except for those with less than a high school education.

 

The survey, conducted April 28-30, included 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel. The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.

 

 

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