One in four Jewish American millennials hides identity, poll finds

According to study, 28% of Jewish Americans aged 25-40 say anti-Israeli climate made them rethink commitment to Israel; 72% of Americans, 89% of Israelis say it is important for American Jewish community and Israel to maintain close ties

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 04.25.22, 23:36
Every fourth Jewish American millennial distances themselves from Israel and their Jewish identity, according to data published Monday by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
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  • The study compared the views of U.S. Jews aged 25-40 and their Israeli counterparts on a series of issues. It is the first study of its kind that focuses on that particular age group.
    Data show that the connection between Israel and the Diaspora remains strong, but also points to some bifurcating points regarding what role Diaspora Jews play in shaping Israeli policy, antisemitism in the U.S., and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    An overwhelming majority of American and Israeli Jewish millennials (72% and 89%, respectively) believe it is important for the American Jewish community and Israel to maintain close ties, while 48% and 46% believe it is very important.
    A quarter of American respondents say they feel a great deal of personal responsibility to help fellow Jews in Israel, 33% feel some responsibility, 23% feel little responsibility, and 12% feel none. On the Israeli side, only 9% of respondents reported they feel a great deal of responsibility to help fellow Jews in the U.S., 33% feel some responsibility, 30% feel little responsibility, and 18% feel none.
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    American Jews protest back in 2014
    American Jews protest back in 2014
    American Jews protest back in 2014
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Half of the American respondents and 76% of Israelis said they believe the recent wave of antisemitic events sweeping through the U.S is the result of campaigns demonizing Israel and Jews, while 18% of Americans and 6% of Israelis said they believe it to be an outgrowth of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Additionally, just 9% of Jewish Israeli millennials think their American counterparts encounter very little antisemitism in their daily lives.
    Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 52% of Americans and 24% of Israelis believe there is a viable solution to the conflict.
    While the polls show that both communities share much in common, they also shed light on some disturbing trends among Jewish American cohorts.
    About 28% of American Jewish millennials say that the anti-Israeli climate on college campuses or elsewhere has damaged their relationships with friends, while 44% say it has not. In addition, 23% reported that the anti-Israeli climate on campus or elsewhere has forced them to hide their Jewish identity. And 28% say the anti-Israeli climate on campus and elsewhere has made them rethink their own commitment to Israel, while 54% say it has not.
    Polling firm Geocartograhy Knowledge Group polled 1001 Jewish Israeli millennials between February 14-22, 2022 on behalf of the AJC while YouGov looked into 800 American contemporaries between February 9 and March 30, 2022.
    "On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we get another reminder of the antisemitism that continues to rear its head in the United States to such a level that a quarter of American Jews feel the need to hide their Jewish identity in 2022," said Col. Avital Leibovich, the director of the American Jewish Committee in Israel. "We must continue supporting our brothers overseas who over and over maintain that the State of Israel is vital to the survival of the Jewish people."
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