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Survey: number of Reform Jews in Israel doubles

7% of Israelis identify as Reform Jews, largest number seen in recent years. 81% of the public supports equality for all denominations; 58% say Chief Rabbinate not contributing to State’s identity

 

The number of Israelis who define themselves as Reform Jews has more than doubled since 2010, according to a new poll published in Ynet News.

According to findings, 44 percent of Israelis do not identify with any religious stream, while 7 percent of Israelis with the Reform; 4 percent with the Conservative and 5 percent with another form of Judaism. 29 percent identify themselves with the religious-Zionist sector; 10 percent with the Haredi sector.

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Ynet News notes that this is the highest rate of the Reform movement seen out of all surveys conducted in recent years.

Last survey conducted in 2010 by the Israel Democracy Institute. The number recorded a meager 3.7 percent of Israeli Jews hailing from the liberal stream.

The poll shows that 56 percent of secular Jews and 38 percent of traditional Jews have participated in the last year in a wedding or bar mitzvah ceremony led by a Reform or Conservative rabbi.

A clear majority of the Israelis — 58 percent (versus 33 percent)—supports the right of Reform and Conservative Jews and of Women of the Wall to pray at the Western Wall.

49 percent of them agreed that the Western Wall (Kotel) compromise damaged the relationship with Diaspora Jewry, (comper to 34percent who disagreed).

 

Gilad Kariv, The director of the Movement for Progressive Judaism, told Ynet that the latest statistics confirmed that despite the ongoing opposition by the rabbinical establishment against Reform Jewry and the budgetary discrimination, many Israelis support the movement.

High as 81 percent of the secular population is granting full equality to the non-Orthodox denominations, and for the first time, 49 percent among the traditional populace, ( comper to 40 against).

The poll had found significant support for equality among center-right irreligious voters (54 percent Yisrael Beytenu, 50 percent Kulanu and 41 percent Likud).

The lowest support was found among Bayit Yehudi and Shas voters (10 percent), and solid support among center-left voters.

 

By Ynet News

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