American Jews heavily ‘just Jewish,’ Democrat and pessimistic on peace

The American Jewish Committee’s Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion is out.

Here’s how American Jews ID themselves Jewishly: “Just Jewish,” 36%: Reform, 27%; Conservative, 24%; Orthodox, 9%; Reconstructionist, 2%; “not sure” (you always have them), 1%.

You have to figure that those Just Jewish folks make up a large part of the 50% of American Jews who do not belong to synagogues.

On the question of “How important would you say being Jewish is in your own life?,” the responses broke down like this: Very, 51%; Fairly, 33%; Not Very, 15%; and Not Sure, 1%.

How close do American Jews feel to Israel?: Very close, 28%; Fairly close, 41%; Fairly distant, 22%; Very distant, 8%; Not sure, 1%.

And how do the Jews break down politically:? Democrat, 53%; Independent, 30%; Republican, 16%; Not sure, 1%.

And on the Middle East…

“Do you think there will or will not come a time when Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace?”

Will, 43%; Will not, 51%, Not sure, 6%.

And get this:

“Would you support or oppose Israel taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons?”

Support, 66%; Oppose, 28%; Not sure, 5%.

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.