American Jewish Identity Survey: An Exploration in the Demography and Outlook of a People

By Egon Mayer, Barry A. Kosmin, Ariela Keysar

Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York (CUNY), 2001

This report addresses who is Jewish in America today and what that means with respect to adherence to Judaism. What segments of the population adhere to Judaism as the basis of their religious identification, and what segments describe themselves as being of Jewish parentage or upbringing (origins) without any explicit adherence to Judaism as a religion? What is the relative size of those different segments of the over-all American Jewish population? Put somewhat differently, the study addresses the tri-fold question: What do Jews believe? To what do Jews belong? And how do Jews behave? Each of these questions is explored with respect to how its answers help define the contours of Jewish identification and the Jewish population in the United States today.

Exploration of those questions is animated here by a broad observation that has emerged from a recent study of American religious identification. Vast numbers of Americans who regard themselves as Jewish or who are of Jewish parentage and upbringing simply have no faith in the conventional religious sense of that term. They adhere to an identity that is rooted in an ancient faith. But their claim to that identity implies little or no commitment to its religious roots.

Topic: Jewish Identification, Survey, Affiliation, Marriage, Demography, Religious Denominations

Funder: Posen Foundation

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Genre: Report

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Mayer, Egon. Kosmin, Barry A. Keysar, Ariela. American Jewish Identity Survey: An Exploration in the Demography and Outlook of a People. Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York (CUNY). 2001: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=8137


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