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The Conventional Wisdom is Wrong...

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Publication Date: March 2008

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Post

Author(s): Theodore Sasson; Charles Kadushin; Leonard Saxe

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Education (Study abroad)

Keywords: Israel attachment; Youth; Diaspora Relations

Type: Other

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

Registration for this summer's Taglit-birthright israel trips has broken all previous records. Even with concerns about security due to the missile attacks in the south, interest in Birthright Israel has not slowed. How can one reconcile this unprecedented interest in Israel among North American Jewish young adults with the conventional wisdom that American Jews - and young adults in particular - are growing more distant from Israel? The answer we arrived at following our comprehensive review of surveys conducted over the past three decades is that the conventional wisdom is wrong: There is no consistent evidence in surveys conducted among national samples of American Jews that either younger individuals, or adults, have grown more distant from Israel. On the contrary, the survey evidence reveals surprising resilience in American Jewry's connection to Israel.

In the Jerusalem Post, 3/4/2008