Kate Dehler
Kate Dehler
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Tablet Magazine
April 03, 2023
Kate Dehler
Kate Dehler

A new, large-scale survey has found that American Jews are splitting along new lines, confirming some previously reported trends and upending others. Sponsored by the Keren Keshet Foundation (a supporter of Tablet Magazine), the follow-up to the widely cited 2020 Pew Research study of American Jewry asked 1,500 U.S. Jews many of the same questions, while also throwing into the mix additional, more detailed prompts about Jewish upbringing, communal involvement, and views on politics. The results reveal a community that, as ever, is rife with contradictions and evolving ideas about what it means to be Jewish.

In their orientation toward Jewish identity and established communal life, respondents appear to break down into four new descriptive categories: Active, Affiliated, Ambivalent, and Alienated.

Active Jews, some 16% of the American Jewish population, are those who center Jewish communal and religious life and have a strong sense of tradition; Affiliated Jews, constituting 34%, have strong Jewish identities even if traditional or communal practice plays a less central role in their lives; Ambivalent Jews, again 34% of the American Jewish community, straddle the line between interest and avoidance; Alienated Jews, representing 16% of respondents, are those with little Jewish connection at all.

Drawing from the survey questions and methodology, Tablet created this quiz to tell you which category you fall into, and whether you are optimistic or pessimistic about our American Jewish future.

Once you’ve taken the quiz, be sure to read our extensive reporting on the survey and its implications, including Sean Cooper’s analysis of the survey data, Mark Oppenheimer’s reflections on the financial burdens of living an active Jewish life, and Liel Leibovitz’s considerations of how political conflicts in the Jewish community are alienating many would-be members.

From the editors at Tablet Magazine