's been a busy few weeks for pollsters who study the Jewish community -- and for the politicians who turn each new survey into partisan fodder. At least three major surveys focused on different issues, but beneath the statistical mumbo jumbo, they pointed to the same thing: the U.S. Jewish public is worried about the unsettled state of the world but not panicked.
The statistical blitz offers hints that Jewish political allegiances may be softening, but despite the best efforts of the political spinmeisters, there is little sign of any wholesale political upheaval. Jewish voters may be receptive to new political messages, but right now they are listening, not buying.
In the American Jewish Committee (AJCommittee) 2002 Survey of Jewish Opinion, two conclusions stand out: fears about anti-Semitism are strong and pessimism about the Middle East peace process is growing.
Results of the two new studies are mixed enough that translating them into policy recommendations will not be easy.
Jews are more likely than members of any other American ethnic group to purchase a hardcover book or attend a live musical performance in the coming year, but they're much less likely to buy a car, truck, recreational vehicle or major home appliance.