A meeting of the United Jewish Appeal in St. Paul, Minnesota, 1949.(Steinfeldt Photography Collection, the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest, via Flickr)

The stalwart institutions of American Jewish life, like the UJA, Hadassah, and even local synagogues, are facing increased competition for members as younger Jews turn to less traditional avenues of cultural and religious identification, from Stand With Us, a group that focuses on Israel advocacy on campus, to small, independent minyanim, or prayer groups. Concern that the movement toward non-establishment Jewish enterprises could sap the strength of American Jewish life drives the research in “Generation of Change: How Leaders in Their Twenties and Thirties are Reshaping American Jewish Life,” a new report commissioned by the Avi Chai Foundation, a non-profit devoted to Jewish continuity and inter-denominational understanding. (Avi Chai’s funders also support Tablet Magazine.)

Ari Y. Kelman, a professor of American studies at the University of California, Davis, is one of the study’s authors. He joined Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss his findings, including the fact that the Internet is weakening denominational differences among Jews, that “non-establishment” young Jewish leaders come from surprisingly “establishment” backgrounds, and that the economics of Jewish life deserve a closer look. [Running time: 16:40]