It wasn’t just the growth of intermarriage, you know.
Or the dramatically shrinking Conservative movement.
Or the fact that non-Orthodox Jews were having fewer and fewer children.
The real dismaying headline of the Pew Research Center’s Portrait of Jewish Americans,, which this October will have been released five years ago, was the finding that young Jews were increasingly saying that they have no religion at all — despite identifying themselves as Jews — often proudly.
These “Jews of no religion” were rewriting the norms of Jewish behavior. They were far less likely to marry other Jews, to raise their children Jewish, to give to Jewish charities, to belong to Jewish organizations, to feel connected to the Jewish community and to care about Israel.
The name “Jews of no religion” may be clumsy — more on that in a moment — but the trend was unmistakable. More than one-in-five of those who responded to this national survey, the first of its kind, described themselves as having no religion. But the generational shifts were profound: Seven percent of those in the “Greatest Generation” eschewed the religious label, while among millennials it was 32%.
I was an adviser on the 2013 survey as a journalist, not a demographer, but I don’t need those academic credentials to posit that the trend very likely has increased in the past five years, mirroring the national religious landscape, where 22.8% of Americans now say they are religiously unaffiliated.
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”So-Called ‘Jews Of No Religion’ Are The Impetus For A Jewish Revolution” by Jane Eisner, September 3, 2018, Forward, Copyright 2018 by Forward.