web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » News & Views » US »

New Survey Of U.S. Jews Shows Soaring Intermarriage, Assimilation

American-Jews-100413

There are more people in America who identify themselves as Jews than you may have thought – an estimated 6.8 million, according to a new study. But a growing proportion of them are unlikely to raise their children Jewish or connect with Jewish institutions.

The proportion of Jews who say they have no religion and are Jewish only on the basis of ancestry, ethnicity or culture is growing rapidly, and two-thirds of them are not raising their children Jewish at all.

Overall, the intermarriage rate is at 58 percent, up from 43 percent in 1990 and 17 percent in 1970. Among non-Orthodox Jews, the intermarriage rate is 71 percent.

The numbers come from the Pew Research Center Survey of U.S. Jews, a telephone survey of 3,475 Jews nationwide conducted between February and June and released on Tuesday.

The population estimate, released Monday, comes from a synthesis of existing survey data conducted by the Steinhardt Social Research Institute and the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.

While the Steinhardt/Cohen study, called “American Jewish Population Estimates: 2012,” is likely to be a matter of some debate by demographers and social scientists, it is the Pew study that offers an in-depth portrait that may influence Jewish policymaking for years to come.

Among the more notable findings of the Pew survey:

• Overall, 22 percent of U.S. Jews describe themselves as having no religion, and the survey finds they are much less connected to Jewish organizations and much less likely to be raising their children Jewish. Broken down by age, 32 percent of Jews born after 1980 – the so-called millennial generation – identify as Jews of no religion, compared to 19 percent of baby boomers and just 7 percent of Jews born before 1927.

• Far more respondents said having a good sense of humor was essential to their Jewish identity than observing Jewish law – 42 percent compared to 19 percent.

• Approximately one-quarter of Jews said religion is very important in their lives, compared to 56 percent among Americans generally.

• Less than one-third of American Jews say they belong to a synagogue. Twenty-three percent of U.S. Jews say they attend a house of worship at least once or twice a month, compared with 62 percent of U.S. Christians.

The Pew study is the first comprehensive national survey of American Jews in more than a decade. The last one, the 2000-01 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), was conducted by the umbrella organization of North American Jewish federations and counted 5.2 million Jews, including children. But critics said that study’s methodology was flawed and undercounted American Jews.

Both the Pew survey and the Steinhardt/Brandeis study put the number of U.S. Jewish adults at about 5.3 million, including Jews who do not identify as Jewish by religion. The Steinhardt/Brandeis study counted an additional 1.6 million Jewish children for a total of 6.8 million Jews in America. The Pew study counted 1.3 million Jewish children.

Because of the differences in methodologies between the new surveys and the NJPS, the increased number of U.S. Jews likely overstates any actual growth.

Among Jewish denominations, the Reform movement remains the largest: 35 percent of respondents identified as Reform, according to the Pew study. The second-largest group is Jews of no denomination (30 percent), followed by Conservative (18 percent) and Orthodox (10 percent).

As with other studies, the Pew study found that the Orthodox share of the American Jewish population is likely to grow because Orthodox Jews tend to be younger and have larger families than Jews generally. In addition, while past surveys showed about half of respondents raised as Orthodox were no longer Orthodox, the Orthodox retention rate appears to be improving, with just a 17 percent falloff among 18- to 29-year-olds.

In the Pew survey, 90 percent of those who identified as Jews by religion and are raising children said they are raising them Jewish. By comparison, less than one-third of those who identified themselves as Jews of no religion are raising their kids as Jewish.

Among inmarried Jews, 96 percent are raising their children as Jews by religion (as opposed to ethnicity), compared to 45 percent among intermarried Jews.

On Jewish observance, some 70 percent of respondents to the Pew survey said they participated in a Passover Seder in 2012 and 53 percent said they fasted for all or part of Yom Kippur that year. About 23 percent said they always or usually light Sabbath candles, and about 22 percent reported keeping kosher at home.

About the Author: Uriel Heilman is managing editor of JTA. An award-winning journalist, he has worked in a variety of positions for publications in the United States and in Israel, including as New York bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “New Survey Of U.S. Jews Shows Soaring Intermarriage, Assimilation”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jawwal Cellular Communications HQ
Hamas Robs Bank of Palestine
Latest News Stories
Jawwal Cellular Communications HQ

Hamas claimed one of the bank’s clients owed them taxes…

Reports from Lebanon say that Israeli Air Force planes flew over the Marjayoun area in Lebanon, launching flares.

its a deal

Despite previous claims, Hamas now denies they arrested any rocket crews. So, who do we believe?

Kotel Notes Cleaning

Western Wall’s employees, remove thousands of handwritten notes placed between the ancient stones of the Kotel, the Western Wall, Judaism’s second holiest site, in the Old City of Jerusalem. The operation is carried out twice each year: before the Passover festival in the spring and at the Jewish New Year in the fall. The prayer […]

A memorial event with a special photo exhibition honoring the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took place on Monday.

The location of the gas chambers at the notorious Sobibor death camp has been revealed, Yad Vashem announced Wednesday.

Gidon Saar shocked and changed Israel’s political landscape today with his unexpected resignation from politics.

British sports store fired security guard who barred Jewish kids from entering the store.

Looming large over any efforts to rebuild Gaza is the ongoing split between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which continues to control the Gaza Strip.

New York City police are investigating the distribution of fliers marked with swastikas in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Russia and Egypt have reached a preliminary agreement for a $3.5 billion arms deals.

Israel has noted that in the past two months Hizbullah has changed its strategy to “breaking the silence,” an attempt to create deterrence toward Israel while the group is bogged down in fighting in Syria and Iraq.

It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.

Prominent Muslims deny that ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group –has any real connection to Islam.

Hamas appears determined to sabotage the shaky Palestinian Authority unity government to which it belongs.

China’s Yuanda Enterprise Group announced last week that it had bought the Israeli company AutoAgronome Israel Ltd for $20 million in order to expand its business to high-tech agriculture.

More Articles from Uriel Heilman
Gazan terrorist with a rocket.

How is it that the journalists aren’t able to get any images of Palestinians fighting the Israelis?

The scene of a gas station in Ashdod that was hit directly by rocket fire from Gaza on the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge. The rocket caused explosions and three people were injured, one of them critically.

Despite some limited success, after every conflagration Hamas has managed to re-arm and improve its rocket capacity, as evident in the rocket range on display in this round of fighting.

Over the years, the ADL has been criticized for overstating what qualifies as anti-Semitism, with critics suggesting that some of the statements used to measure bias actually are more indicative of admiration for Jews than anti-Jewish hostility.

“Last year we took the $10,000 from him,” Jay Sanderson, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, told JTA. “We’re not going to take it anymore.”

“More than the Jews have kept the Shabbos (Sabbath), the Shabbos has kept the Jews.”

The battle over partnership minyans is just the latest scuffle in the war over women’s roles in the Orthodox community.

Last week, a man who tried to build a pipe bomb for use in New York, Jose Pimentel, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on terrorism charges under laws Halberstam helped draft.

The kosher section at Winn-Dixie’s Boca Raton store is larger than that of many kosher-only supermarkets.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/new-survey-of-u-s-jews-shows-soaring-intermarriage-assimilation/2013/10/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: