Search results for: Demography
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A month after its publication, the “Statement on Jewish Vitality,” signed by a number of leading Jewish communal figures, has stirred robust and vociferous condemnation. So who is right? The luminaries – rabbis in the field and leading scholars of Jewish sociology – who suggest there is a crisis and a need for a strategic response? Or those who have rejected the “Statement” as being too myopic and anachronistic, missing out on the vital Jewish experience currently taking place, to borrow from [a recent] Torah portion, Vayera, if only our Hagar-like Jewish establishment would open its eyes?
Updated: Nov. 11, 2015
Marking the 2nd anniversary of the release of the 2013 Pew Research Center’s Portrait of Jewish Americans, a highly diverse group of thought leaders from all around the United States has framed a “Statement on Jewish Vitality,” advocating strategic responses to respond to the challenges to the Jewish future. American Jewry now stands at a crossroads. Our choices are stark: we either accept as inevitable the declining numbers of engaged Jews, or we work to expand the community and improve the quality of Jewish life going forward. Despite the evidence of deeply disturbing population trends, the community is bereft of any sense of crisis.
Updated: Oct. 15, 2015
There’s a pair of new studies just out that sheds important light on the future of Judaism in America. One paints an alarming picture of a population headed for precipitous decline, but offers hope that certain measures can turn things around. The other suggests that the most hopeful measure actually might not offer much hope at all.
Updated: Nov. 19, 2014
First, the good news. The most recent census revealed that, for the first time in decades, the decline in Britain’s Jewish population has been arrested. In 2011, 263,346 chose to identify themselves as Jewish by religion in England and Wales, compared to 259,927 in 2001. Beneath the headline figure, however, all it not as it appears. The Institute for Jewish Policy Research, having recently published the preliminary findings of its substantial and substantive National Jewish Community Survey, demonstrated that British Jewry is undergoing a generational shift in Jewish identity, culture, and affiliation, one that has the potential to transform Jewish life in the United Kingdom – and not necessarily for the better.
Updated: Apr. 30, 2014
2013 was a good year for prognostications about the American Jewish future. The Pew Research Center released findings of a national survey of Jews, and the data were rich enough to spark intense wrangling over their implications. For those trying to make sense of the current debates, or for those who think about the future by first considering the past, the Berman Jewish Policy Archive presents this guide to demographic debates of yore. In the pages that follow, readers will find discussions of method and interpretation dating back to the first half of the 20th century, but with a special focus on the three major National Jewish Population Surveys of 1970, 1990 and 2000-1.
Updated: Feb. 19, 2014
These are some of the findings of the new Pew Research Center survey, conducted Feb. 20-June 13, 2013, among a nationally representative sample of U.S. Jews. This is the most comprehensive national survey of the Jewish population since the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey. More than 70,000 screening interviews were conducted to identify Jewish respondents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Longer interviews were completed with 3,475 Jews, including 2,786 Jews by religion and 689 Jews of no religion.
Updated: Oct. 21, 2013
The Steinhardt Social Reseach Institute (SSRI) and Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University have released new estimates of the American Jewish population. In an effort to develop reliable estimates of the size and characteristics of the American Jewish population, the SSRI has used a data synthesis approach to yield estimates of the proportion of U.S. adults who claim Judaism as their religion, the number of secular/cultural Jews (i.e., Jews who identify other than by religion), and the number of children. The accumulated evidence indicates that the U.S. Jewish population is substantially larger than previously estimated.
Updated: Oct. 06, 2013
Haviv Rettig Gur writes about how the latest community study of New York Jewry, by the UJA-Federation of New York has broken new ground in the complicated art of studying American Jews. By sampling an unprecedented 6,000 households, asking new kinds of questions about religious practice, and focusing on areas with low rates of affiliation alongside the more concentrated Jewish communities, the study has for the first time offered local Jewish organizations and community planners new tools for tackling questions of identity, engagement, poverty and education.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2013
In the presentation “U.S. Jewry 2010: Estimates of the Size and Characteristics of the Population,” given at the Association for Jewish Studies meeting in Boston on December 20th, Professor Leonard Saxe reported that rather than declining, the Jewish population has been increasing since 1990. NJPS 2000-01, the last national Jewish population study sponsored by the United Jewish Communities (currently, the Jewish Federations of North America), found that the U.S. Jewish population had declined by 300,000 during the 1990-2000 period. Saxe and his colleagues found that the Jewish population has actually risen from about 5.5 million individuals in 1990 to an estimated 6.5 million as of 2010, an increase of nearly 20%.
Updated: Jan. 06, 2011
The financial crisis and demographic shifts are reshaping the Jewish community in ways we could hardly have imagined a generation ago. Historian and Brandeis University Professor Jonathan Sarna sheds light on what history can teach us about Jewish revival in uncertain times.
Updated: Aug. 25, 2009