Majority of Israeli Jews read the ‘entire’ Haggadah at seder, survey finds

An Israeli family on the first night of Passover, in Tzur Hadassah, April 3, 2015. (Nati Shohat/flash 90)


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The majority of Israeli Jews read the Haggadah in its entirety at Passover seders.

Some 64 percent of Israelis said that they read all of the Haggadah or “the entire Haggadah, including the part that is read after the meal,” according to a Jewish People Policy Institute survey for the Israeli Judaism project.

In the survey conducted in late 2017 and early 2018, 97 percent of Jews responded “yes” to the question: “Do you host or participate in a Passover Seder?”

The survey included seven Jewish Israeli sectors: totally secular, secular traditional, traditional, religious liberal, religious, national Haredi (Orthodox), and Haredi. A majority of Jews from all sectors except totally secular said they read the entire Haggadah. Only 22 percent of those in the totally secular category, which make up 31 percent of all Jews, say they read the entire Haggadah.

Some 87 percent of the Haggadah readers also keep kosher for Passover and 85 percent of Israeli Jews who keep kosher for Passover do not read the entire Haggadah.

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In a separate survey by the Israel Democracy Institute, 63 percent of Israeli Jews said they will clean their homes of all chametz, or leavened food forbidden on Passover. A slightly higher rate (67 percent) said they would take care to eat kosher-for-Passover food both inside and outside the home.

The responses to the Jewish People Policy Institute survey were based on two rounds of questionnaires. The first surveyed 2,000 Israeli Jews and the second included an additional 1,000 respondents. The margin of error based on all 3,000 respondents was plus or minus 1.8 percent.