Ahead of the historic March for Israel in Washington, DC on Tuesday, in which communities from across the country will mobilize to support Israel, show solidarity with hostages held captive by Hamas, and stand up against antisemitism, Jewish Federations of North America released the first poll of the Jewish community since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on October 7, 2023.
The poll found that American Jews feel less safe and are worried about increasing levels of antisemitism. Some 70% of Jewish respondents said they feel less safe than they did a few months before. None said they feel safer. Three-quarters of Jews were concerned that their communities would face security problems as a result of the war.
“This polling demonstrates precisely why our community feels it is so important to mobilize and come to Washington, so that we can tell our nation’s leaders directly about the need to both stand up against the rampant antisemitism in our country and remain steadfast in their incredible support for Israel,” said Eric Fingerhut, Jewish Federations of North America President and CEO. “We know that large majorities of Americans support Israel in its fight against terror, and it’s important not to let a vocal minority warp that view.”
Since the attack, Jews were twice as likely to say they worry very much about their personal safety compared to the general public. Among Jews, those who wore distinctive Jewish items were twice as likely to say they felt worried “all the time” relative to Jews who do not wear distinctive items.
When it comes to antisemitism, 72% of U.S. Jews said they thought antisemitism in their local community was rising, as did 32% of the general population. The number of Americans who think there is "a lot" of antisemitism has more than doubled in the past two years. In fact, people see antisemitism as more pervasive than discrimination against other minorities for the first time in years. Nearly a third of Jews said there had been some violence or hate against Jews in their community.
Jews were more likely to describe the climate in their communities as "tense," "uncomfortable," and "scary," than the general population, and less than half as likely to say things felt "normal."
When it comes to how elected leaders are responding to the war, Jews were 79% more likely as the general population to say their local politicians are doing a good job responding to the war.
Support for military aid to Israel is widely popular, with 59% of the general population supporting U.S. government security support for the Jewish state, and 87% of Jews agreeing.
“We believe that knowledge is an important prerequisite to action, which is why this data is so powerful as our community mobilizes to march on Washington,” said Jewish Federations of North America Chief Impact and Growth Officer Mimi Kravetz. “We look forward to continuing to provide empirical insight about the Jewish community, both to our many partners and the general public.”
The SMS text-based survey was conducted between October 29th-November 1st, fielded by Benenson Strategy Group among a random sample of US Adults and Jewish Americans using Civis Analytics data set. The sample included 3,777 Americans, including 2,199 Jewish Americans. It had a margin of error of ± 1.59% for the general population and ± 2.09% for the Jewish population