Post-Soviet Jewry on the Cusp of Its Third Decade - Part 1

By Betsy Gidwitz

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), May 15, 2011

Demographically, post-Soviet Jewry has seen an overall decline resulting from assimilation, intermarriage, low fertility, high mortality, and emigration of younger age cohorts. Some  demographers believe that less than 500,000 Jews remain in the post-Soviet states. An intermarriage rate that some view as exceeding 80 percent creates complex situations for those Jewish groups that prefer to confine their programs to halachically Jewish individuals.

Jewish identity among Jews in Russia and Ukraine is most likely to be expressed as a sense of Jewish heritage, in particular, a common cultural or intellectual heritage, rather than a sense of common spirituality or sharply focused religious practice. Post-Soviet Jews also tend to believe that Jews should be familiar with modern Israel, but not necessarily feel obligated to live in Israel.

Part 2 of this report is available here.

Topic: Former Soviet Union (FSU), Antisemitism, Russian Jews, Jewish Identification, Education, Affiliation, Demography

Name of Publication: Changing Jewish Communities

Volume/Issue: Vol.68/no.15

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Genre: Report

Coverage: Former Soviet Union (FSU) , Russia , Ukraine

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Gidwitz, Betsy. Post-Soviet Jewry on the Cusp of Its Third Decade - Part 1. Changing Jewish Communities. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). 15 May 2011:


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