A poll conducted for Channel 2 by Dr. Ariel Ayalon among 500 respondents aged 18 to 64 found not only a higher degree of religiosity among secular Israelis, but also discovered that younger secular Israelis are more religious than their older counterparts.
73.2% of secular Israeli respondents of the survey said they either believed in Hashem (39.6%) or in “a higher power” (33.6%). The survey found that over a third of secular Israeli Jews fast on Yom Kippur, 30% of them light Shabbos candles and make Kiddush, and 37.2% of secular women take tznius rules into account to some degree. 9% of secular women and 45.9% of “traditional” women observe taharas hamishpochah. 47.9% of secular Jews avoid eating pork, 12% avoid non-kosher marine products and refrain from consuming milk with meat, and 35% of secular women said they have taken part in hafroshas challah.
Looking at the aggregate of religious and irreligious Jews, 66% believe in Hashem, 70.6% avoid pork, 53.1% married in the rabbinate, 51.4% observe modesty to some degree, 49.5% fast on Yom Kippur, 37.7% do not travel on Shabbos, 37.7% keep taharas hamishpochah and 29.9% observe kashrus.
The survey found that the degree of religiosity rose among the youth. 80% of 18-24 year-old respondents believed in Hashem compared to only 57.6 % of 55-64 year-olds. 25.9 % of the younger group categorized themselves as religious compared to 11.5% of the old group. From the age of 35 downwards, Israel Jewry has a religious majority, with only 48.8 % of Jews aged 24-34 and only 37.6 % of Jews aged 18-24 saying they were secular.
50.6 % of the younger group observed Shabbos compared to 16.1 % of the older group. For kashrus observance and shul attendance the figures were 47.1 % versus 21.8% and 22.4 % versus 14.9 %. The larger degree of religiosity of younger Jews is because of kiruv and religious Jews’ faster rate of growth.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel