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Gen Z Jews: Different Views From Their Parents. Brand Israel Has a Problem

For decades, the majority of the Jewish community worldwide has held steadfast in its support for Israel, viewing it as a beacon of hope and a bastion of safety in a region fraught with turmoil. However, recent trends indicate a significant shift in perspective among the younger generation, particularly Gen Z Jews, whose ideological stances on the conflict starkly contrast with those of their parents.

Generational Disconnect

According to recent studies conducted by the Heart Monitors, a new strategy and insights consultancy dedicated to uncovering the feelings behind the facts, Gen Z Jews are more closely aligned with their peers than with their parents when it comes to their ideological stances on the Hamas/Israeli conflict. A staggering 36% of Gen Z Jews believe that Israel's control over the West Bank and Gaza strip constitutes apartheid, a figure higher than the overall Gen Z population, which stands at 31%. Additionally, 36% of Gen Z Jews perceive Israel's actions as reflective of the beliefs of Jews around the world, suggesting a growing sense of disillusionment with Israel's policies among the younger Jewish demographic.

Challenging Assumptions

The prevailing assumption that Gen Z Jews support Israel is further challenged by statistics revealing their nuanced perspectives. Notably, 20% of Gen Z Jews do not view supporting Hamas' actions as inherently antisemitic, highlighting a departure from the traditional narrative that any form of opposition to Israel is inherently anti-Jewish. Moreover, a significant portion of Gen Z Jews, 39%, do not believe that Israel is justified in bombing Gaza, signifying a growing skepticism towards Israel's military tactics. 

Perceptions of Responsibility

Another noteworthy finding is that 36% of Gen Z Jews attribute responsibility for the killing of innocent Palestinians to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), underscoring a shift in perceptions of accountability within the Jewish community. Furthermore, 34% of Gen Z Jews believe that Israel's actions are indicative of the beliefs of Jews around the world, indicating a sense of collective responsibility among younger Jews for Israel's actions. 


Impact of the war on Jewish Identity

The evolving attitudes of Gen Z Jews towards the Hamas/Israeli conflict are not limited to geopolitical concerns but also extend to questions of Jewish identity. A striking 46% of Gen Z Jews believe that Israel's actions harm the Jewish people worldwide, suggesting a growing recognition of the complex interplay between Jewish identity and Israeli policies. Additionally, 50% of Gen Z Jews assert that protesting the Israeli government is not inherently antisemitic, signaling a departure from the notion that criticizing Israel equates to betraying one's Jewish identity. 

Empathy and Perspective

One of the most compelling aspects of Gen Z Jewish perspectives on the conflict is their capacity for empathy towards all victims. While 28% of Gen Z Jews empathize with the Israeli government, a larger proportion, 48%, express empathy towards the Israeli people. Similarly, 30% empathize with the Palestinian people, indicating a nuanced understanding of the human cost of the conflict. In contrast, Muslim Gen Z individuals exhibit a greater degree of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, with 59% expressing empathy towards the Palestinian people and only 15% towards the Israeli people. Gen Z sees things less in black and white. They acknowledge it is complicated yet do not have the tools to stand up or even desire to do so.  

Reimagining Jewish Values

The divergent viewpoints of Gen Z Jews highlight a broader trend towards reimagining Jewish values and identity in the context of the Hamas/Israeli conflict. A significant majority (67%) of Gen Z Jews believe that Jews should be a minority group. Additionally, 44% of Gen Z Jews support the concept of oppressor/oppressed dynamics, perhaps reflecting a growing awareness of power imbalances within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

The statistics and trends outlined above underscore the urgent need for the Jewish community to reckon with the divergent perspectives of its younger generation on the Hamas/Israeli conflict. Gen Z Jews' nuanced understanding of the conflict, coupled with their evolving attitudes towards Jewish identity and

values, necessitates a reevaluation of traditional narratives, terminologies, and approaches. Calls like Never Again is Noware seen by many as less relevant today with the holocaust being over 70 years ago.

Failure to do the work to understand the ways to connect with Gen Z Jews and non-Jews alike risks further alienating a significant segment of the Jewish population and perpetuating the cycle of misunderstanding and discord for generations to come. The Jewish world needs to reframe their messaging, vocabulary, acknowledge and listen more to their children and talk less at them.  

Robin Lemberg  


About The Heart Monitors

The Heart Monitors is a new type of strategy consultancy that exposes the feelings behind the facts™ that offer deep insights and drive behavior change. Made up of passionate leaders from the worlds of marketing, finance, non-profits, research and social science, The Heart Monitors bring a proprietary research tech stack, custom communities, daring questions, quick and timely reads and with products and services such as the “F Factor” and the “Gen Z Heart Tracker.” We empower non-profits, brands and their partners with powerful audience insights around messages, campaigns, topical and polarizing issues in order to craft a story that resonates, drives behavior and influences change. For more information, visit

The Gen Z Heart TRACKER  is fueled by surveys conducted among a nationally representative panel of U.S. Gen Zers ages 16-26, with results compared to the general population (U.S., national), and then among separate samples of relevant sub-segments of Gen Zers (self-identified Jews, Muslims and other, along with LGBTQ+ identifying Gen Zers where relevant). The key to our methodology is quick and timely reads of the most meaningful headlines in pop culture as they appear.  This quick take on the “pulse” of GenZ is coupled with a bold approach: daring to ask the questions that no one asks, uniquely combines on sensitive topics in the way they are discussed in the intimate channels of GenZ conversation.


1 Comment

Apr 16

Great job. I want to know more.

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