2009 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion

Methods Statement

The Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion is a poll commissioned by the American Jewish Committee. It is conducted by Synovate, a leading survey-research organization. The Survey of American Jewish Opinion has been conducted yearly since the early 1990’s. Over the years, the question styles and methodology have been kept as stable as possible to provide consistent results from year to year.

The Consumer Opinion Panel has served and continues to serve as the primary sample source for the survey. Panel members are recruited to join the panel and participate in surveys conducted by Synovate. Several times a year, the panel is screened for religious self-identification. In 2008, the sample source was broadened by including a sample from a distinctive name list supplied by Scientific Telephone Samples, Inc. This decision came about as Synovate panel recruiting methods moved more towards supporting online interviewing capabilities in addition to phone and mail. It was felt a broader base would help insure more reliable results.

The Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion is a telephone survey that uses a stratified sample design with targets by 6 age categories and gender. Both the panel and list provide general age and gender information. Sample size targets are set by these criteria and the interviewing works the sample diligently to achieve these sample size targets. Respondents are always asked to verify their age and their religious identification. Although no strict sample size is set for the ratio of listed sample to total, the plan is to achieve about a 1 in 5 ratio. The percents of the sample from the listed sample source were 18.8%, 16.8% and 21.6% in 2008, 2009, and 2010 surveys, respectively.

If the survey coincides with the Jewish holidays, interviewing is suspended for those days. No interviewing takes place on Friday nights or Saturdays. Interviewing was conducted by trained and experienced interviewers with supervision provided by Synovate study directors. Interviews are monitored continuously to assure quality and interviewer consistency.

Among the topics covered in the 2009 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion are U.S.-Israel relations, the Arab-Israel conflict, and the Iran nuclear threat. Many of the questions appearing in the survey are new; others are drawn from previous American Jewish Committee surveys, including various Annual Surveys of American Jewish Opinion carried out between 1979 and 2008.

The 2009 survey began interviewing by telephone on August 30 and continued through September 17. The sample consisted of 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents, representative of the United States adult Jewish population on a variety of measures. The margin of error for the sample as a whole is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
A. US-Israel Relations

1. How would you characterize relations between Israel and the United States today? Are they very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative?
Very positive
11

 

 
Somewhat positive
70




Somewhat negative
14




Very negative
2




Not sure  3

 

 

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration’s handling of US-Israel relations?


3. Do you approve or disapprove of the Netanyahu government’s handling of Israel-US relations?



4. Do you agree or disagree with the Obama Administration’s call for a stop to all new Israeli settlement construction?



B. Arab-Israel Conflict
5. As compared with one year ago, are you more optimistic about the chance for a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs, less optimistic, or do you think the chance for a lasting peace is about the same as it was one year ago?
More optimistic
12


Less optimistic
23


Same as one year ago
65

 
Not sure
1



6. In the current situation, do you favor or oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state?

Favor

49


Oppose

41


Not sure
1



7. In the framework of a permanent peace with the Palestinians, should Israel be willing to compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli jurisdiction?

Yes

37


No

58


Not Sure 

6



8. As part of a permanent settlement with the Palestinians, should Israel be willing to dismantle all, some, or none of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank?



9. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel.”
Agree

75


Disagree

19


Not Sure 

5



10. Do you think there will or will not come a time when Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace?
Will

43


Will not

51


Not Sure 

6



11. Do you think that Israel can or cannot achieve peace with a Hamas-led Palestinian government?
Can

17


Cannot

79


Not Sure 

4



12. Should the Palestinians be required or not be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement?
Required

94


Not required

5


Not Sure 

2


C. International Issues

13. Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration’s handling of the Iran nuclear issue?
Approve
49

 

 
Disapprove
35




Not sure
15





14. Would you support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons?



15. Would you support or oppose Israel taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons?


16. Do you think that anti-Semitism around the world is currently a very serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all?
Very Serious problem
56

 

 
Somewhat of a problem
43




Not a problem at all
1




Not sure
1





17. Looking ahead over the next several years, do you think that anti-Semitism around the world will increase greatly, increase somewhat, remain the same, decrease somewhat, or decrease greatly?
Increase greatly
15

 

 
Increase somewhat
30




Remain the same
42




Decrease somewhat
9




Decrease greatly
1




Not sure
2




D. Background Factors

18. In politics as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent?
Republican
16

 

 
Democrat
53




Independent
30




Not sure  1

 

 

19. Do you think of yourself as . . .
Orthodox
9




Conservative
24




Reconstructionist 2




Reform
27




Just Jewish
36




Not sure
1





20. How important would you say being Jewish is in your own life?
Very important
51




Fairly important
33




Not very important
15




Not sure
1





21. How close do you feel to Israel?
Very close
28




Fairly close
41




Fairly distant
22




Very distant
8




Not sure 1




Date: 10/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
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