New findings show that young American Jews are growing more attached to Israel, probably as a result of the “cumulative impact of Birthright Israel,” according to renowned sociologist Professor Steve Cohen.
At the same time, however, these strengthened links to Israel have not yielded any greater support for Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians, according to the findings of a survey of American Jews carried out by the progressive social group the Workmen’s Circle.
New data released on Monday from the findings of a poll that was partially publicized two weeks ago, shows that the “Attached to Israel Index” for under-35 non-Orthodox Jews was 39, while for Jews aged 35-44 it was only 29. For Jews over the age of 45 the Index went up gradually from 40 to 44.
As the poll did not discover any correlation between the growth in the attachment to Israel and greater engagement with the Jewish community, such as attending a synagogue, Cohen and his colleagues ascribe the attachment phenomena to what they describe as “the Birthright Bump.”“We may be seeing a bump upward in Israel attachment for an entire cohort of young people, owing to their far more frequent travel to Israel, due in large part to Birthright,” Cohen said."