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This study investigates the cognitions, attitudes and behavioral intentions concerning interpersonal contact between nonreligious and religious Jews in Israel. The hypothesis examined is that distance from Jewish tradition is related to a negative orientation regarding questions of state and religion, tolerance for demands on the part of observant Jews to further religious goals on the state level, and the social distance between religious and nonreligious Jews. The data for this study are based on closed ended questionnaires completed by 671 Jewish male and female Israeli university students. The findings indicate that those who identify themselves as more religious observe more ritual, have a more positive orientation toward an intertwining of religion and state on a macro level and to the specific demands for the observance of religious life in the public sector, and prefer contact with religious persons over contact with nonreligious persons. At the same time, the social contacts between the religious and nonreligious are characterized by more informal than formal isolation. These findings are discussed with regard to the question of social integration among Jews in Israeli society.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1991-01-01

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