#IsraeliJudaism: Find Your Place

Which Israeli voters celebrate New Year's Eve?
Upwards of 50% of Israeli Jews that identify as right wing voters do not drive on Shabbat (54%). More than 50% of Israeli Jews that identity as left wing voters shop on Shabbat (55%). Two thirds of those who identify as "center-right" voters do a Kiddush on Friday night. About a half of those who identify as "center-left" voters – a little less than a third – also do a Kiddush on Friday night.

The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) is releasing this data as part of its #IsraeliJudaism research project, based on an extensive survey of Israeli Jews. A new book based on the research: #IsraeliJudaism, a Portrait of a Cultural Revolution, was published a few weeks ago by Dvir Publishing.

The way the Israeli society divides into political camps has a direct correlation to their level of Jewish observance. Among those who identify as "completely secular," a bit more than a quarter of Jewish Israelis (28%), most people vote for center (30%) and center-left (24%) political parties. The next group in the scale of Jewish observance are the "secular who are a bit traditional," and its voters choose center wing parties (30%), and even more so, right wing parties (center-right parties 26% and right wing parties 25%). The small left wing (5%) is composed almost solely of completely secular voters. The right wing sector, which is the largest sector in Israel (33%) is dominant with all non-secular voters. 42% of those who identify as "traditional" are right wing voters, as are 58% of religious and 50% of Haredi voters.

JPPI`s extensive survey clearly shows that most of Jewish Israeli voters tend to choose center and right wing parties. Center-left and left wing voters constitute only 16% of the Jewish Israeli population. In the following weeks leading up to the April elections, we will post data that shows the correlation between political identity and party identification to Jewish observance levels. The following chart shows which voters attend New Year`s parties and which voters choose not to attend. As shown in last week`s data, attendance of New Year`s parties also has a strong correlation to age – young people tend to attend much more than adults. About one in five (20%) of Israeli Jews celebrate on December 31st but of those without children, especially young people, the percentage rises to 34%, about a third of all Israeli Jews.

The following chart shows the correlation between New Year`s party attendance and political party affiliation (the data comes from the 2015 elections). The party with the highest percentage of former USSR voters is also the one whose nearly half its supporters attended a New Year`s party. Among members of the Ashkenazi Haredi party, almost no one attends a New Year's party. The Jewish People Policy Institute's Israeli Judaism project is headed by Shmuel Rosner, a senior fellow of the institute, and Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University, who is responsible for the survey and statistical analysis. Noah Speklov, a JPPI fellow, helped analyze the data, which was based on two rounds of questionnaires: the first round surveyed 2000 Israeli Jews and the second round included an additional 1000 respondents. This representative sample represents of Israel’s Jewish population the sampling error (based on all 3000 respondents) was 1.8%; for questions with fewer respondents, it grew accordingly.