Photo Credit: Steven Bornholtz
Congregation Emanu El, October 15, 2017.

The Pew Search Religious Landscape Study recently surveyed US Jews’ views about abortion, depending on their religious attendance. Mind you, this survey did not ask respondents whether they were Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform, only how often they go to shul. Now, it stands to reason that those who attend their synagogue at least once a week are more likely to be Orthodox because non-Orthodox synagogues don’t usually do weekdays.

So, among Jews who frequent their shul at least once a week, 59% said abortions were legal in most cases, while 38% believed they were illegal in most cases, and 4% didn’t know.


Among Jews who attend synagogue services between once or twice a week and a few times a year, 89% said abortions are mostly legal, 8% mostly illegal, and 3% didn’t know.

How about Jews who seldom or ever go to synagogue? Turns out 89% of that group, too, approve of abortions, while 11% don’t, and only 1% don’t know.

Strangely, it appears that more Jews who never go to shul object to abortions than those who go every once in a while. If you will, it means that non-Orthodox worshippers are further to the left than those who don’t worship at all. But that’s a lot of extrapolations, of course.

Another recent Pew survey examined belief in Hell among 18–29-year-olds by religious groups. Here are the results:

67% of Catholics believe in Hell.

84% of Evangelicals do.

83% of Black Protestants do.

74% of Mainline Protestants do.

68% of Mormons do.

But only 28% of Jewish respondents believe in Hell. Take it as you may, I for one find it encouraging.


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