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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
2012 Israel Religion and State Index (Poll)

2012 Israel Religion and State Index

The annual Religion and State Index is conducted by the Rafi Smith Research
Institute for Hiddush-Freedom of Religion for Israel(Published with the
assistance of the New Israel Fund of Canada). It is based on a
representative sample of the 800 adults from the Jewish population of Israel
polled on the telephone between July 31st and August 6th.
The margin of error: +/- 3.5 percentage points

Question: Religious identity:
Secular 49% Traditional 27% Religious 14% Haredi(ultra-¬�Orthodox) 10%.

Question: There are many internal tensions and conflicts within the Israeli
Jewish society. Which of the following tensions do you see as the most
acute? And what is the second most acute?
Most acute: Rich-poor 15% Immigrants-veteran Israelis 4% Haredi-secular 47%
Right-Left 19% Ashkenazim-Sephardim 5%
First or second most acute: Rich-poor 33% Immigrants-veteran Israelis 9%
Haredi-secular 71% Right-Left 41% Ashkenazim-Sephardim 16%

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the claim that “In the State of
Israel, freedom of religion and conscience should be upheld, namely freedom
of choice and conduct for secular and religious according to their outlook.�
Very much agree 62% I quite agree 23%
I don’t quite agree 6% I do not agree 9%

Question: The political system deals with a long list of matters pertaining
to religion and state, such as conversion, marriage, exemption from military
service for yeshiva students, participation of Haredi in the workforce,
funding to yeshivas, and core curricular studies in Haredi education. To
what extent are you satisfied with the actions of the government in the area
of religion and state?
Very satisfied 4% Quite satisfied 20%
Not quite satisfied 27% Not at all satisfied 49%

Question: In your view, do the public and political actions of the
representatives of the Haredi parties in the Knesset:
Draw the public closer to Judaism 10% Distances the general public from
Judaism 67%
Does not affect the attitude of the general public towards Judaism 23%.

Question: The Haredi parties provide the swing vote and this gives them
excessive influence over decisions in matters of religion and state. What is
your position regarding this situation?
I am very disturbed 38% I am quite disturbed 27%
I am not very disturbed 11% I am not disturbed at all 24%.

Question: if an existing party were to decide to actively promote policies
pertaining to freedom of religion and conscience how would it affect the
likelihood that you would vote for that party?
Increase 44% Decrease 17%

Question: If a party which competes in the elections decides to actively
promote the issue of mandatory service for everyone, how would it affect the
likelihood that you would vote for that party?
Increase 53% Reduce 13% No effect 34%

Question: These are the two prevalent positions today in the political arena
regarding the “Tal Law�. Which of them is closer to your position?
37%. There is a need to increase the draft of yeshiva students through
incentives, but without using sanctions against those who refuse to serve.
63% There is a need to establish a mandatory draft with the exception of a
quota of wavers for outstanding students and revoke benefits and stipends
from those who didn’t serve.

Question: One of the arguments of the Haredi parties for justifying the
arrangement regarding the postponement of military service is that the study
in yeshivas on not service in the army is what truly safeguards Israel’s
security. Do you agree or disagree with this argument?
Agree 28% Disagree 72%

Question: A number of Knesset members proposed legislation according to
which instances of segregation and/or exclusion of women in the public
domain would constitute a criminal offense. Do you support or oppose
these initiatives?
Total support 64%

Question: Do you support public transportation on Shabbat?
Full weekday schedule 20% Limited (main lines in lower frequencies) 43%
Leave situation as is (almost none). 27% Cancel lines currently in existence

Question: About 60% of Haredi men study in yeshivas and do not participate
in the workforce. Some claim that this is facilitated by the State funding
yeshivas and families with a large number of children. Do you support or
oppose the proposal to reduce the scope of governmental funding in order to
encourage Haredi men to enter the work force?
I strongly support 62% I somewhat support 16%
I somewhat oppose 7% I strongly oppose 15%

Question: The Trajtenberg Committee recommended that the criteria for
government housing benefits give preference to those who work or seek work
(those who realize their potential for gainful employment). The Haredi
parties thwarted the adoption of this recommendation by the government for
fear that it would make it difficult for yeshiva student’s families to enjoy
these benefits. What is your opinion?
82% Entitlement to housing benefits should be conditional upon realizing
potential for gainful employment (working or seeking work)
18% Entitlement to housing benefits should not be conditional upon realizing
potential for gainful employment working or seeking work)

Question: Is government funding of the Haredi sector:
24% Discriminatory, given their relative proportion to the general
57% Overly favorable given their relative proportion to the general
19% In alignment with the relative proportion to the general population

Question: Economists claim that Haredi education void of general studies
threatens Israel’s economy and therefore its future because of the
difficulty graduates of Haredi education face when they attempt to integrate
into the work force. The Haredi leadership claims that only the study of
Torah in their institutions without general studies ensures the existence of
the Jewish state and that this way, they raise youth with greater values. In
light of these claims, do you agree that Haredi educational institutions
should be obligated to teach core curricular general studies which include
math, English, sciences and civics?
Yes: 75%, No: 25%.

Question: As of today, marriage and divorce of Jews in Israel is carried out
solely according to Orthodox halacha (Jewish Law). Do you support or oppose
that Israel should legally recognize all forms of marriage including
conservative, reform, and civil marriages?
I strongly support 41% I somewhat support 18%
I somewhat oppose 10% I strongly oppose 31%

Question: In your opinion, what forms of conversion should the State of
Israel recognize?
40% Only Orthodox conversions
30% All forms of religious conversion conducted in Israel or in Jewish
communities overseas, including Reform and Conservative conversions
30% All forms of conversion, including the option of a secular conversion
(namely a non-religious ceremony of acceptance into the Jewish people
following Jewish studies)

Percent supporting:
Freedom of religion and conscience 85%
Recognition of all types of marriage 59%
Recognition of non Orthodox conversion 60%
Public transportation on the Sabbath 63%
Criminalizing segregation of women 64%
Sanctions on draft dodgers 63%
Mandatory core curriculum 75%
Reducing public funding to yeshivas 78%
Conditioning housing benefits on gainful employment 82%
Decisive influence of Haredi parties is disturbing 65%

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