Report: Orthodox Judaism Growing Among Young American Jews
Arutz-7's Hana Levi Julian reports:
Orthodox Judaism Growing Among Young American Jews
A study released by the American Jewish Committee shows that Orthodox Judaism is growing in popularity among under-30 Jews in the U.S.
The study, carried out in honor of the New York-based advocacy group’s 100th anniversary, measured Jewish identification trends in the American Jewish population from ages 18 to 39, a group which numbers some 1.5 million Jews. The total Jewish population in the U.S., according to the study, is estimated to be between 5.5 and 6 million, including Jews who are intermarried.
Some 16% of Jews aged 18-29 now identify themselves as Orthodox, the study revealed. In the 30-39 age group, slightly more than half of that number, 9%, consider themselves Orthodox.
According to the report, the percentage of Orthodox Jews is expected to grow as the population marries and has children, especially in light of the fact that Orthodox Jews place a higher emphasis on having children than do other Jews.
The report also found that more than half of all American Jews under age 40 are not married. Men in their 20’s are “highly likely to be unmarried." In general, the overall trend among young Jewish adults is to marry later in life.
The role played by the State of Israel is also much less important to young Jews today, found the report. “The Holocaust continues to be profoundly important to a broad spectrum of young Jews,” it read, “yet Israel appears to be much less important in positively affecting Jewish identity.”
The exception to the rule is the group of Jews who have either traveled to Israel or who identify themselves as Orthodox, both “for whom Israel has powerful positive resonance,” it stated.
The report also addressed the climbing statistics of intermarriage and assimilation in the U.S., recommending that outreach programs targeting intermarried Jews be expanded and increased.
“The [outreach] programs which focus on unaffiliated young Jews are much less politically ‘charged’ than programs which focus on the intermarried and in many ways show a greater willingness to welcome the intermarried without stigmatizing them,” read the report. “These programs need to be continued and, if current demographic trends continue, need to be expanded.”
The study used previous demographic studies and opinion polls conducted in the past six years as primary sources for data collection. Ukeles Associates Inc. compiled the report for the committee.