American Jewish opinion, 2006

The American Jewish Committee’s “annual survey”:http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nl/content3.asp?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=846741&ct=3152877 of American Jewish opinion is out, and it includes lots of interesting findings (as it does every year).

The survey is conducted by a private research group, which calls self-identifying Jewish respondents who are considered “demographically representative” of the U.S. adult Jewish population.

It stood out to me that 33 percent of respondents identified themselves as Conservative Jews and 31 percent as Reform — at a time when the Conservative “slice” is supposed to be shrinking.

Other notable findings:

— 54 percent favor the establishment of a Palestinian state (with 38 percent opposed), but 56 percent believe that Israel and its Arab neighbors will never reach peace.

— 62 percent disapprove of how the U.S. is handling the war on terror.

— 66 percent believe illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S. to work if they meet certain criteria; 17 percent think illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay for a limited time; and 14 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported.

–53 percent think anti-Semitism around the world will increase in coming years; 36 percent say it will remain the same; and 8 percent think it will decrease.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.