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October 15, 2009 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-10-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


American Jews from page 26

On Jerusalem
When asked whether Israel, in the
framework of a permanent peace with
the Palestinians, should be willing to
compromise on the status of Jerusalem
as a united city under Israeli jurisdic-
tion, 37 percent are in favor and 58
percent opposed. In 2007, 36 percent
answered yes and 58 percent no.
"While ideologically-driven Jewish
groups of the left and right assert that
a majority of American Jews share
their views on the Middle East, it just
isn't true. The AJC survey results reveal
very clearly that, in fact, the bulk of
American Jews hold largely centrist
views, at times tilting to the left, at other
times tilting to the right:' said Harris.
"This has been largely true in recent
years, regardless of who is in power in
Washington and Jerusalem."
Eleven percent of American Jews,
according to the AJC survey, character-
ize relations between Israel and the
United States as "very positive" and
70 percent "somewhat positive" nine
months after President Obama's inau-
guration and seven months after Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
formed his government. In contrast, 14
percent characterize U.S.-Israel relations
as "somewhat negative" and 2 percent
"very negative."
Fifty-four percent of U.S. Jews approve
and 32 percent disapprove of the Obama
administration's handling of U.S.-Israel
Meanwhile, 59 percent approve and
23 percent disapprove of the Netanyahu
government's handling of U.S.-Israel
Among age segments, AJC found little
distinction in approval of the Obama
administration's handling of U.S.-Israel
relations, with 54 percent of those under
40; 57 percent aged 40-59; and 49 per-
cent over 60 expressing approval.

AJC surveys have
consistently shown that
American Jews yearn
for Arab-Israeli peace
and back compromise
through negotiations,
but remain skeptical
of Arab intentions.

On the other hand, denominational
affiliation appears to be a key factor in
determining attitudes. While majori-
ties of Conservative (54 percent) and
Reform Jews (59 percent) approve, only
14 percent of Orthodox Jews approve of
the Obama administration's handling of
U.S.-Israel relations.
President Obama won 78 percent of
the Jewish vote in the 2008 elections.

Settlement Issue
Much discussion in recent months has
focused on the Obama administration's
public criticism of Israeli settlements,
a stance opposed by a majority of
American Jews.
The AJC survey found that a majority,
51 percent of U.S. Jews, disagree with
the Obama administration's call for a
stop to all new Israeli settlement con-
struction, while 41 percent agree with
that tactic.
Disapproval is fairly consistent among
age segments — 49 percent of those
under 40 disapprove and 38 percent
approve; 53 percent ages 40-59 disap-
prove and 42 percent approve; and 51

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percent over 60 disapprove, while 41
percent approve.
Among the denominations, 74 percent
of Orthodox, 62 percent of Conservative,
and 46 percent of Reform Jews disap-
prove of the call for a full settlement
In contrast, 21 percent of Orthodox,
33 percent of Conservative and 45 per-
cent of Reform approve.
Still, there is wide recognition among
American Jews that the question of
settlements is a topic to be resolved in
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. When
put in that context, most American Jews
say Israel should be willing to dismantle
all (8 percent) or some (52 percent) of
the settlements as part of a permanent
peace settlement with the Palestinians.
Thirty-seven percent oppose disman-
tling any.
American Jews continue to view glob-
al anti-Semitism as a serious problem
that is likely to increase over the next
several years.
Fifty-six percent say anti-Semitism is
a "very serious problem" and 43 percent
say "somewhat of a problem." Looking
ahead, 45 percent say anti-Semitism
around the world will increase, 42 per-
cent say it will remain the same, and 10
percent say decrease.
The 2009 survey was conducted for
AJC by Synovate (formerly Market
Facts), a leading opinion-research orga-
nization. Respondents were interviewed
by telephone between Aug. 30–Sept. 17.
The 800 respondents are representa-
tive of the United States adult Jewish
population on a variety of measures.
The margin of error from the sample as
a whole is plus or minus 3 percentage
points. II

All AJC annual surveys on American Jewish

opinion from 2000 to 2009 are available at

Tamarack Fees
Frozen For 2010

When Tamarack Camps recently
announced fees for next summer's season,
the Bloomfield Township-based agency
demonstrated commitment to fulfilling
its mission — that no child be denied a
Jewish camping experience due to finan-
cial reasons.
At its retreat last month, Tamarack's
board approved tuition rates for2010,
holding the numbers steady from the pre-
vious summer.
It was the second straight year in
which the agency's leadership responded
aggressively to the area's struggling
"We allocated more than $1 million last
year in financial aid to assist families in
sending their children to camp — setting
an agency record and a record for Jewish
camps around the world:' said Tamarack's
president, Shelley Hutton.
"We felt that holding our fees in 2010
was the right thing to do in order to fur-
ther support all of our families, not just
those on financial assistance."
Jonah Geller, Tamarack's executive
director, said the tuition freeze is possible
because of the agency's numerous sup-
"It's a testament of the community's
determination to serve each and every
family, despite the economy:' Geller said.
"From Federation, to our board, to the
hundreds of donors who invest in what
we do. That's also what camp is all about
— teaching the importance of supporting
each other."
Registration for returning Tamarack
campers begins this Friday, Oct. 16, while
new campers can sign up as early as Nov.




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