Dichotomy of American and Israeli Jews

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Twin Portraits From Pew Research Center Surveys

By Pew Research Center
September 27, 2016


“In many respects, Israel is a red state, and American Jews are a blue country.”


If you are Jewish, odds are that you live in Israel or the United States. Four out of every five Jews in the world live in these two countries, with approximately 6 million Jews in each.

Pew Research Center has surveyed Jewish adults in both places, and has found deep bonds between them. Nevertheless, their experiences and perspectives are very different. For instance, we asked Jews in Israel to describe, in their own words, the biggest long-term problem facing their country. They were as likely to cite economic concerns (such as Israel’s high cost of living, or a shortage of affordable housing in Tel Aviv and other cities) as they were to mention military or national security issues (such as terror attacks or Iran’s nuclear program).

Yet when American Jews were asked to name Israel’s biggest long-term problem, fully two-thirds cited a military or security issue, and hardly any (1%) mentioned economic difficulties — which suggests that many Jews in the United States either don’t know much about Israelis’ day-to-day economic challenges or don’t worry much about them.

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