The authors of the Jewish Community Study of New York read into their data declining engagement with Israel, but over at Brandeis’s Cohen Center, Ted Sasson sees something different: Based on age levels and travel to Israel, the existence of Birthright correlates with levels of attachment to Israel.
“As the authors acknowledge,” Sasson writes, “attachment is higher in the 18-34 than in the 35-49 age group.” In an earlier study, Sasson points out, “We attributed this somewhat surprising observation to increased travel to Israel among younger American Jews—a result of the launch of Birthright Israel in 1999. In the New York study, as well, we see that Jews in the 18-34 age group were more likely to have visited Israel than Jews in the 35-49 age group.”
Of course, judging by today’s featured post on The Roll, that’s attachment to Israel. Not necessarily to Israelis, were they ever to encounter any.
Israel Without Israelis
Related: New York Community Study Does Not Show Distancing From Israel [Cohen Center]