Hand-Wringing about the Pew Report

“Last year’s survey of American Jews brought dire news—rising intermarriage, falling birthrates, dwindling congregations,” reads the teaser to a Mosaic piece titled “The Pew Survey Reanalyzed: More Bad News, but a Glimmer of Hope”, “… Our reanalysis confirms the message, and complicates it.”

The authors are responding to the findings of a recent Pew study “A Portrait of Jewish Americans.”

The opening paragraph to the Mosaic piece:

A year has now elapsed since the Pew Research Center released its “Portrait of Jewish Americans,” based on the first national survey of its kind in over a decade. Conducted by a leading “fact tank,” as Pew describes itself, and based on the responses of over 5,000 individuals identifying themselves as Jews or claiming some other connection, real or imagined, with Jewishness, the report sparked numerous articles summarizing its key findings and commenting on their significance. It also prompted intense discussions within Jewish institutions, from synagogues to Jewish federations and communal agencies.

The description of the authors of this piece is quite a mouthful:

Jack Wertheimer is professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Most recently he co-authored Hearts and Minds: Israel in North American Jewish Day Schools, under the auspices of the Avi Chai Foundation.

Steven M. Cohen is a research professor at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

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