Gyllenhaal hasn't discussed religion much, but he's officially Jewish and says that he is "more Jewish than anything else", having grown up in a Jewish household. However, Jake Gyllenhaal associated himself with Buddhist practices but has said, "I am not a card-carrying Buddhist, but I do try to practice mindfulness" and it is his goal to meditate every day.
Politically, he's much more vocal.
Gyllenhaal has promoted various political and social causes. He has appeared in Rock the Vote advertising, campaigned for the Democratic Party in the 2004 U.S. presidential election, promoted environmental causes, and campaigned on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Environmentally conscious, he recycles regularly. After filming The Day After Tomorrow, he flew to the Arctic to promote awareness of climate change.