ALMOST HALF OF U.S. JEWS DON’T ASSOCIATE WITH RELIGION, STUDY FINDS

The study only includes Jews who define their religion as Judaism, or “Jews by religion.”

BY JTA, JEREMY SHARON
AUGUST 30, 2018
American Jews

An American Jewish man praying . (photo credit: REUTERS)

More than one in five, however, are considered “Sunday stalwarts” (or Saturday): those who “actively practice their faith, but they also are deeply involved in their religious congregations.”

The study published Wednesday defines how people practice their religion. It only includes Jews who define their religion as Judaism, or “Jews by religion.”

Conducted last December, the study of more than 4,700 respondents has a margin of error of 2.3%.

Among the seven categories, 45% of American Jews are listed in the two for the least religious: “religion resisters,” who believe in a higher power but have negative views of organized religion, or “solidly secular,” those who don’t believe in God and do not self-define as religious. The breakdown is 28% as “solidly secular” and 17% as “religion resisters.”

On the other end of the spectrum, 21% of Jews are “Sunday stalwarts.” Eight percent are “God-and-country believers,” who express their religion through political and social conservatism, and 5% are “diversely devout,” who follow the Torah but also believe in things like animism and reincarnation.

The somewhat religious are defined as either “relaxed religious” (14%), those who believe in God and pray but don’t engage in many traditional practices, or “spiritually awake” (8%), those who hold New Age beliefs and believe in heaven and hell.

Americans as a whole are more or less evenly divided among the seven groups. The largest three groups are “Sunday stalwarts,” “relaxed religious” and “solidly secular” at 17% each. The smallest are “God-and-country believers” and “religion resisters” at 12% each.

“Jewish Americans are the only religious group with substantial contingents at each end of the typology,” the study says.

Author, professor and political commentator Gil Troy said that the results of the Pew study showed that the model of looking at the US Jewish community as divided into Reform, Conservative and Orthodox is breaking down and that large numbers of US Jews are now identifying with other aspects of Jewishness.

“For many US Jews, their identity is based on Jewish culture, heritage, nation, family and other concepts,” Troy told The Jerusalem Post.

He noted that other observers of the Jewish people have pointed out that only in Israel has a model been found to pass on a vibrant, secular Jewish identity, and that sustaining a Jewish identity outside of Israel in a non-religious framework has proven extremely difficult.

Troy said, however, that American Jews who do not participate in organized religion but identify with non-religious aspects of Jewishness have a parallel community in Israel of secular Jews whose identity is similarly bound up in culture, heritage and nation.

“There is a non-theological basis of Jewish identity and this opens the way for a conversation about what unites US Jews and Israeli Jews,” Troy opined.

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6 replies

  1. Well, the difference between Jews and Muslims is that when Muslims turn away from religion they and their offspring are usually lost for ever, while the Jews still consider themselves racially Jews and therefore continue to support Israel and consequently also their offspring might even return to the Jewish religion in the future.

    • I agree with you Rafiq—
      Thousand black Jews Ethopian who live in Africa thousand years and from Europe, China, and Others cane back to Israel.

      Look at this Vedio. They are so happy to come back to Israel.
      All love ❤️

  2. I think the drive one has to leave religion behind is usually more social decision but to become religious is actually a more personal decision. But statistically more people turn toward religion than the ones turning away from religion. I pray that all should just search for the truth, that way they will all end up in the same decision. With God.

  3. Now you has realized that discriminating others base on skin , tribe and religion is not good, evil act.

    Hopefully you do not discriminating me here any more. Hopefully You do not consor my comment based on your rule. God bless you Rafiq.

    All love ❤️

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