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Young Jews Still Donate to Faith-Based Charities

Study finds young Jews give to religious causes more than non-Jews

Romy Zipken
August 15, 2013
Tzedakah box.(Shutterstock)
Tzedakah box.(Shutterstock)

In the face of all the studies, polls, and surveys that claim that young Jews are moving away from their religiosity, a new study by 21/64 and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy shows that Jewish young adults are actually very likely to donate money to faith-based charities, the Huffington Post reports.

Of those polled, 65 percent said that they donate to religious and faith-based causes, a figure that was only surpassed by education-related organizations. Just 31.6 percent of non-Jews surveyed said that they give to such groups.

These 20 to 30-somethings claimed their own parents’ benevolence inspired them. Alas, their parents couldn’t get them to shul every Shabbat.

More than half of the young Jewish respondents earn more than $100,000 and nearly all said they attend services at least once a year.

Of the parents and grandparents of the next generation, 78 percent donate to faith-based cause, the Jewish Week reports. While their numbers might not be all that different, the two generations still diverge in certain areas.

In-depth interviews conducted with 11 of the 88 respondents to the national survey reveal generational similarities and differences between the next gen cohort and their elders. The younger group, while still committed to Jewish causes, tended to be more “secular” or universalistic in its giving, while their families tended to views giving through a more Jewish lens.

The next generation is also more interested in helping out physically, rather than simply donating the cash money.

“Perhaps the most dramatic change that Jewish next-gen donors want to make to how philanthropy operates is that they want it to be more hands-on,” the report concluded. “They crave a closer engagement with grantees –- termed “partners” by many respondents –- and disdain philanthropy that merely involves writing checks. They want to give time as well as treasure.”

The good news is that everybody can relax because Jews young and old are still helpin’ the cause.

Romy Zipken is a writer and editor at Jewcy. Her Twitter feed is @RomyZipken.