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%.

American Jews (except for the Orthodox) favor Obama

Americans Jews favor Obama over McCain by 57% to 30% (with 13% undecided), according to the American Jewish Committee’s just-released Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion.

obama-kah2.JPGObama has the support of 59% of Conservative Jews, 62% of Reform Jews, 61% of “Just Jewish” Jews — but only a paltry 13% of Orthodox Jews.

On the question of which “one issue would you most like the candidates for president to discuss,” 54% of American Jews answered “economy,” 11 “health care,” 6 “war in Iraq,” 5 “energy” and “terrorism,” 3 “Israel,” 2 “immigration,” “education,” “taxes,” and “social security,” and 1% “Supreme Court nominations.”

And, 56% of American Jews do NOT think “there will come a time when Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace.” 38% think peace will be achieved.