Jewish Demography and the Challenges to Reform Jewry

By Mark L. Winer

Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), Winter 1984

The author uses demographic data on American Jews from the National Jewish Population Study (NJPS) and community studies to understand the issues facing Reform Judaism. He predicts that the assortment of factors contributing to loss and growth of American Jews will balance out, resulting in an equilibrium for Americans Jews in the next few decades. The authors finds that while Israeli and Soviet Jewish immigrants have increased the ranks of American Jews, very few of them affiliate with Reform temples unless it is through marriage with American-born Jews. The author also surmises that in the next twenty years most Jews will be native born and that numerous medium-density Jewish communities will emerge. The author concludes by asserting that the Reform movement is the most modern expression of Judaism in America that reaps the benefits of these demographic trends. He adds that because of this Reform Judaism can focus on issues of inner quality and Jewish authenticity because of the ways in which it benefits from being a modern movement.

Topic: Reform Judaism, Affiliation, Demography, Religious Denominations

Name of Publication: Reform Judaism

Page Number(s): 1-27

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Genre: Scholarly Journal

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Winer, Mark L. Jewish Demography and the Challenges to Reform Jewry. Reform Judaism. Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Winter 1984: 1-27.


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