Jewish Values: Do Jewish Democrats & Republicans differ? Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is the most famous Jewish member of Congress and is well known for his political independence as he sorts out political issues. But he is not alone. Pew counted 45 Jewish men and women in the 111th Congress, placing the Jewish representation just below Methodists and just above Presbyterians. The biggest religious group in Congress is Catholic, close to 1 in 3 overall.Disagreements between Democrats and Republicans are legendary. Do Jewish Democrats and Republicans disagree about most things as well? Or does Jewish identity override political affiliation?

A commitment to social justice and equality is a core value, as we discussed yesterday. Almost half (46%) of all Jewish Americans say this commitment is one of the most important qualities in their identity, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. But there are differences by political preference. A majority of Jewish Democrats (54%) say a commitment to social equality is central to their identity, compared with about two of ten (22%) Jewish Republicans.

The reverse is true for support of Israel. Over a third (37%) of Jewish Republicans say that support for Israel is central to their sense of identity, compared to 15% of Democrats. Religious observance is also more important to Jewish Republicans than it is to Democrats as crucial to their identity, the survey reports.

Few differences appear when it comes to Jewish cultural heritage and tradition. Just 6% of Jewish Republicans say this is one of the most important qualities for their sense of identity, quite similar to the proportion of Democrats (7%) saying the same.

What core values define you?

Does religion shape your identity?

Does religion shape your political views?

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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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