With Court Ruling, Majority of Israeli Jews Back Women of the Wall

May 13, 2013

Support Greatest Among Jewish Israelis Born in America & Europe, College Graduates, Secular

May 11, 2013

With recent altercations at the Western Wall and legal rulings on the limits of public prayer there, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University released the results of its latest monthly Peace Index poll on this subject.

Israelis were surveyed on their attitudes towards the Women of the Wall’s quest to pray out loud and wear tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin (phylacteries) at the Western Wall.
>>Overall Attitude: 48% of Israeli Jews back the Women of the Wall, while 38% do not.
>>By Religiosity: Support for the Women of the Wall is highest among self-defined secular Israeli Jews (64%) and the traditional-non-religious (53%).  Traditional-religious (26%), religious (28%), and ultra-Orthodox (0%) support them to a lesser degree.
>>By Background: Support for Women of the Wall differs dramatically based on background.  Support for Women of the Wall is highest among Israelis born in America or Europe (77%), followed by Israelis whose parents were born in America or Europe (61%), Israelis whose parents were born in Israel (46%), Israeli whose parents were born in Asia or Africa (43%), Israelis from the former Soviet Union (38%), and Israeli who were born in Asia or Africa (33%).
>>By Gender: A higher percentage of Israeli Jewish men (52%) back Women of the Wall than women (46%).
>>By Education Level: A larger proportion of those with academic degrees (57%) support the Women of the Wall than those with some post-high school education (41%), a high school degree (40%), and those with less education (41%).
>>After Court Ruling: When later told that the Israeli district court had ruled that the Women of the Wall were not violating the “local custom” and were not breaking the law, support for Women of the Wall grew to 56%, while 34% maintained their opposition.  Support for Women of the Wall increased among all sub-groups except for those with less than a high school education.

This survey, conducted April 28 – 30, 2013, included 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel.  The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.>/I>

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