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The attachment of British Jews to Israel

Author(s): Barry Kosmin, Antony Lerman and Jacqueline Goldberg
Date: 13 August 1997

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The findings in this report are based on a 1995 postal survey of a sample of 2,194 British Jews.

Overall it was found that 43 per cent of the sample felt a strong attachment to Israel, 38 per cent were moderately attached, 16 per cent expressed no special attachment, while 3 per cent had negative feelings towards Israel.

When respondents selected one of the following ways of self-identification, 18 per cent replied that they felt 'more British than Jewish', 54 per cent that they felt 'equally British and Jewish' and 26 per cent that they felt 'more Jewish than British'. Only 2 per cent were unsure.

Statistically significant differences are found by sex (women are more strongly attached than men), age (older age groups are more strongly attached than the young) and region.The findings also demonstrated a strikingly clear pattern of strengthening attachment to Israel as the degree of commitment to traditional Judaism rises.

The findings point to the significance of experiencing Israel for younger people. The young have a psychological and emotional deficit that has to be compensated for by visiting Israel.

israel demography aliyah identity affiliation zionism