Only 21 percent said their community members felt unsafe - about half of them due to the growth in anti-Semitism, and others because of the anger towards Israel, local criminal crime, the economic situation, the immigration problem in Europe, etc.
Ahead of the 9th World Conference of Jewish Community Centers (JCC Global), which is being held in Jerusalem this week, JCC leaders were asked whether the current situation in Israel affected them. The findings were surprising: Forty-six percent said the community's sense of security was unaffected by the current round of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, while 35% said they felt less secure. Ten percent even reported a higher sense of personal safety recently.
The interviewees were also asked to rank the Diaspora Jewry's challenges. They revealed that the communities' unity is more important to them than the connection with Israel, preventing assimilation and fighting anti-Semitism.
The absolute majority stated, however, that they feel a sense of solidarity with and commitment towards other Jewish communities in the world, which is reflected in the willingness to help and support them at times of trouble.
Keeping in touch with Jewish communities
Participating in the JCC Global conference are more than 400 community leaders and executive directors of JCCs are from Europe (including CIS and Balkan countries), North America, Central and South America, and leaders of small communities from India and the Philippines.
The countries represented in the conference include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, Venezuela, Paraguay and of course Israel.
The conference, which is held in Israel every four years, is focusing this year on the urgent issues the Jewish communities are dealing with. Participants are also discussing innovative global cooperation programs between the community centers as part of the efforts to reinforce the Jewish people around the world.
Speakers include Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Intel Israel General Manager Maxine Fassberg and JCC Global President Jane Gellman.
JCC Global Executive Director Smadar Bar-Akiva said ahead of the conference: "The community centers are today the Jews' most important identity definers, and in most communities they are also the most significant, dominant and sometimes the only ones which connect them to the Jewish world and to Israel.
"The community centers serve as a pleasant and friendly home for Jews and non-Jews," she added. "For this reason, the pluralistic engagement with Israel and Judaism makes their managers so important in keeping in touch with the different communities."