August 27, 2015


Pew Study Finds Orthodox Similar to Evangelical Christians -- Not Other Jews (Nathan Guttman, August 26, 2015, Forward)

The snapshot of the Orthodox community provided by the Pew report portrays a group made up of two separate communities -- the Modern Orthodox, who are involved in secular American life, and the more numerous Haredim, also referred to as ultra-Orthodox, who are more insular. Among the many aspects these two groups share is their rapid growth, their emphasis on marriage and families, their relative political and social conservatism, and their preference for Jewish education for their children.

When it comes to beliefs and practices, the differences between Orthodox Jews and all others -- including Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and those who consider themselves Jewish with no religion -- become stark.

Asked about the importance of religion in their lives, 83% of Orthodox Jews say it is a very important factor, while only 20% of non-Orthodox Jews say so. By contrast, 86% of white evangelicals replied positively to this question.

There are other ways in which Orthodox Jews are more similar to evangelicals than to their non-Orthodox co-religionists. Orthodox Jews and Christian evangelicals attend religious services frequently (74% and 75%, respectively), while only 12% of non-Orthodox Jews go to synagogue at least once a month. The report shows that 89% of Orthodox Jews and 93% of Christian evangelicals believe in God with absolute certainty, while only 34% of all other Jews share this belief.

On Israel, 84% of Orthodox Jews and 82% of evangelicals believe Israel was given to the Jewish people by God, while only 35% of non-Orthodox Jews hold this view.

This pattern also plays out on the political level. Orthodox Jews and Christian evangelicals share an affinity with the Republican Party (57% and 66%, respectively, support or lean toward the GOP), as opposed to a mere 18% of non-Orthodox Jews who back Republicans.

Posted by at August 27, 2015 5:16 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus