Pew Releases New Survey on American Jewish Identity

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New numbers this week about American Jewish identity: According to a wide-ranging survey by the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Policy Project, one-in five US Jews—22 percent—now describe themselves as having no religion.

Sixty-two percent say being Jewish is mainly a matter of ancestry and culture, while just 15 percent say it’s mainly a matter of religion. When asked what an essential part of being Jewish means, 73 percent said remembering the Holocaust, and 69 percent said leading an ethical life. Caring about Israel came in fifth at 43 percent, followed closely by having a good sense of humor.

For the last two decades a majority of Jews who married married non-Jews, and more than a third of all intermarried couples say they are not raising their children Jewish at all.

  • Chana

    It seems to me that the majority of Jews who put Israel at the front of being Jewish are Orthodox who very often Americans who go to Israel to live. Israel is becoming more and more Orthodox as time passes (each family having 10 or more children) and they will soon outnumber those who are not very religious. They will make Israel run more on Jewish laws and practices. And, this will make the issue of Israel less important to American Jews. As they draw away from Orthodoxy, they will become more and more disgusted with the Israeli government and way of life.