AJC survey finds significant majorities of Jews concerned about antisemitism, support Israel

The survey also shows that very few Biden voters in 2020 are backing Trump in 2024

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American and Israeli flags sit on the stage during an Israeli Independence Day celebration

A survey of the U.S. Jewish community by the American Jewish Committee found that a significant majority of American Jews harbor deep concerns about antisemitism in the United States and remain strongly supportive of Israel. It also finds that President Joe Biden is maintaining most of his support within the Jewish community in anticipation of a 2024 presidential rematch against former President Donald Trump. 

The survey of 1,001 Jewish adults was conducted online by research company SSRS from March 12 to April 6, with a 3.9% margin of error.

The survey found that 93% of Jews think that antisemitism is a problem, with 56% calling it a “serious” problem. And 87% said antisemitism has increased since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, with 55% saying it has increased “a lot” since the attack.

On Israel, 85% of Jews said it’s important for the U.S. to continue to support Israel, with 60% rating it “very important.” Seventy-eight percent of Jews said they are paying more attention to news about Israel since Oct. 7.

The survey also found that pluralities of Jews feel more connected to Israel — 45% — and to their Jewish identities — 48% — since the Oct. 7 attack. In combination, 57% said they felt more connected to either Israel, their Jewish identities or both since the attack.

The survey found that the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack and the ensuing war have had an influence on many Jews’ behavior. Fifty-three percent of respondents said that the war has impacted personal or work relationships or that they have avoided talking about the war, 42% percent said they feel unsafe wearing Jewish symbols in public since Oct. 7; and 45% feel unsafe sharing their views about Israel on social media.

Jewish Democrats reported feeling more unsafe sharing their views on social media than Republicans — 49% of Democrats said they felt unsafe, as opposed to 39% of Republicans.

Seven percent of American Jews reported thinking about leaving the U.S. since Oct. 7 due to antisemitism, with a total of 9% saying they had considered leaving the country due to antisemitism since Oct. 7 or in the five years prior.

A smaller share of American Jews said that the war has led them to stop following someone on social media (29%), caused them to hide or not disclose their Jewish identity (27%), made them feel unsafe in a Jewish institution (27%), made them feel unsafe in conversation about the war (17%) or caused them to lose a friendship or relationship (13%).

Twelve percent said they’d ended a friendship or relationship because the person had expressed antisemitic views.

Looking to American politics, the survey suggested that some predictions that Trump would do significantly better among Jewish voters in 2024, driven by concerns over Democrats’ views on Israel, are overstated. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they plan to vote for President Joe Biden, roughly in line with the 64% who reported, in the same poll, having voted for Biden in 2020. (The Associated Press VoteCast voter analysis found that 68% of Jewish voters backed Biden in the 2020 election.) 

Trump won 23% of the Jewish vote in the AJC poll, while 10% of respondents said they planned to vote for someone else, and 6% said they did not plan to vote.The poll did not provide an undecided option. 

Only 2% of those who voted for Biden in 2020 said they planned to vote for Trump in 2024, while 2% of Trump voters in 2020 said they planned to vote for Biden this year.

Biden also remains significantly more popular in the Jewish community than in the population at large — 56% said they approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 40% said they disapprove. 

But the poll suggested that a critical mass of Jewish voters is skeptical  of Biden’s record on Israel. Just under half (49%) of respondents said they view Biden as better for the U.S.-Israel relationship, as compared to 25% for Trump. 

The survey showed the community closely divided about Biden’s handling of the war: 48% percent of respondents said they approve of how Biden is handling the Israel-Hamas war, while 43% said they disapprove. The poll did not break down whether those who disapprove find Biden too supportive of Israel or not supportive enough.

The poll was conducted well before Biden announced he had suspended some shipments of arms to Israel and threatened to suspend more.

A majority of respondents — 55% — said Biden would be better at combating domestic antisemitism, while 20% said Trump would; 15% said neither would be better, while 9% said they were not sure.

The poll also found that Jews remain a predominantly Democratic-identifying population — 68% said they were Democrats or lean Democratic, while 31% said they were Republican or lean Republican. Fifty-nine percent of Jews who lean Democratic said they identify as progressives.

AJC officials highlighted in a press call last week that the survey results suggested a connection between level of education about Israel and greater feelings of connection to it since Oct. 7., stronger support for Israel and  higher levels of concern about antisemitism and about sharing their views on Israel.

Seventy-two percent of poll respondents said that being Jewish is very or somewhat important in their life. Religiously, 8% identified as Orthodox, 15% Conservative, 32% Reform, 2% Reconstructionist and 29% as secular.

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