(June 2, 2021 / JNS) A survey commissioned by the American Jewish Committee, released on Wednesday, indicated that support for U.S. President Joe Biden among American Jews remains strong, while a political rift continues between the Orthodox Jews and other denominations, including unaffiliated Jews.
The annual survey by the AJC asked 1,000 Jews who self-identified with various denominations their opinion on Biden’s performance on various issues. According to an AJC news release about the survey, opinions between the various denominations still closely match Biden’s support in the 2020 election.
Jews in the United States came out overwhelmingly in favor of Biden in November; he received 68 percent of the Jewish vote with former President Donald Trump receiving 21 percent. An additional 4 percent of Jews voted for another candidate and 5 percent did not vote.
Still, Biden received just 12 percent from Orthodox voters, 61 percent among Conservative voters, 80 percent among Reform Jews, 99 percent from Reconstructionist, 86 percent from secular Jews and 71 percent from Jews without a specified denomination.
The numbers remain largely the same four months into Biden’s presidency.
- Job Performance: Biden’s approval rating among all Jews is 70 percent, with 26 percent disapproval. Nineteen percent of Orthodox individuals polled approve of Biden’s performance compared to 65 percent of those who said they were Conservative Jews, 80 percent who were Reform, 99 percent among Reconstructionist, 85 percent among secular Jews and 72 percent among Jews who did not affiliate with any denomination.
- U.S.-Israel Relations: Biden’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations was approved by 58 percent of Jews and disapproved by 27 percent; 19 percent strongly approved, 39 percent somewhat approved, 11 percent somewhat disapproved, 16 percent strongly disapproved and 15 percent had no opinion. Some 21 percent of the Orthodox approved of his handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while 47 percent of Conservative, 68 percent of Reform, 95 percent of Reconstructionist, 68 percent of secular and 59 percent of unaffiliated Jews approved. Twenty percent of respondents said they believe that the U.S.-Israel relationship was very strong, 56 percent said it was fairly strong, 16 percent said it was fairly weak, and 4 percent said it was very weak.
- Anti-Semitism: 64 percent of Jews polled approved Biden’s handling of the anti-Semitism issue while 23 percent disapproved. Biden’s performance on anti-Semitism was approved by 35 percent of the Orthodox, which was better than on other issues, 53 percent of Conservative, 70 percent of Reform, 96 percent of Reconstructionist, 74 percent of secular and 70 percent of non-affiliated Jews.
- Economy: 71 percent of Jews approved Biden’s performance on the economy while 27 percent disapproved.
- Iranian nuclear issue: 55 percent of Jews approved Biden’s performance on Iran nuclear issues while 32 percent disapproved.
- Immigration: 54 percent of Jews approved Biden’s performance on immigration issues while 42 percent disapproved.
- Race: 68 percent of Jews approved Biden’s performance on race relations in the United States while 28 percent disapproved.
- COVID-19: 79 percent of Jews approved Biden’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic while 19 percent disapproved.
The survey also asked about Israel’s relationship with its neighbors and prospects for peace in the region.
Thirty-three percent of American Jews are more optimistic about Israel’s prospects for peace with its Arab neighbors than they were a year ago, 20 percent are less optimistic and 46 percent said there has not been any change.
Of prospects for peace between Israel and Palestinians, 60 percent said not been much has changed compared to a year ago, 25 percent are less optimistic, and 14 percent are more optimistic. The results are similar to AJC’s 2020 survey results.
AJC’s survey was conducted by the research company SSRS, interviewing 1,000 Jews age 18 and older by telephone between March 25 and May 9. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
Jewish News Syndicate
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