The Cinch Review

Israeli Jews and Belief in God

I find this heartening, I must admit: a survey in Israel by the Guttman-Avi Chai foundation says that a record number of Israeli Jews currently believe in God. That number is 80%, and by “record number,” reference is made to other surveys dating back to 1991.


Drilling down to more specific theologies, 70% are said to believe that the Jews are God’s Chosen People, and 55% believe in the coming of the Messiah. 85% believe that “celebrating the Jewish holidays as prescribed by religious tradition” is important, or very important. (Since that figure is 5% more than actually believe in God, there are obviously those who believe such celebration is important merely for cultural reasons.) That figure was only 63% in 1999. One theory as to why there is more religiosity in Israel today than some decades ago is that the large numbers of ex-Soviet Jews who immigrated in the 1980’s and 1990’s arrived as highly secular, but the process of assimilation has made them (and their children) more devout.

In any case, that the trend regarding belief is going upwards rather than downwards bodes well for the future of the Jewish State, I think, both metaphysically and pragmatically.