US Jewry is shifting profoundly and Chabad is on rise – Pew research – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on June 5, 2021

US Jewry is changing and its heading in two different directions. That is whats clear from the new Pew Report.The number of Jews who dont identify with religion is rising, with many on a trajectory away from Jewish life. But on the other side, there is a spiritual rebound. Orthodox Judaism is continuing to grow and successfully retain its youth. And, with large families being the norm, it will become a larger segment of the community over the decades. This is coupled with the rise of Chabad, now equal in size to either the Reform or Conservative movements.The Chabad emergence, documented in this Pew Report, is a game changer for American Jewish life. The numbers are startling: 38% of all US Jews have engaged in some way with Chabad programs. 40% of those are active on a regular or semi-regular basis. 75% of those who are involved with Chabad do not self-identify as Orthodox. The younger the segment, the more connected they are with Chabad.This is clearly a result of Chabads massive expansion in the three youth sectors: teens, college students, and young professionals. The shift of millennials has been documented in a series of local Federation studies that reveal that more Jews age 35 and younger are involved with Chabad than any other Jewish group. At the rate its going, Chabads role in the US Jewish community will only expand in the years to come.On the other side of the ideological spectrum, we see the opposite. There are 37% who identify with Reform and 17% with Conservative, but identification is not affiliation. It does not mean those who identify are truly active in those movements. In fact, according to the 2013 Pew Study with similar stats on identification, the numbers of actual membership in the liberal Jewish movements are dramatially lower. That study found that just 14% of US Jews are members of Reform congregations and 11% of Conservative.And a second vital statistic shows that many of those members are older. As age drops, so does involvement in liberal movements. This is reflected by synagogue closures, since the 2002 Synagogue Survey, nonorthodox congregations are closing and merging. The Reform has downsized by 180, and the Conservative by over 350. In the same time frame the number of Chabad Centers has tripled.Chabad has created a new paradigm in modern Jewish life, reversing trends of over a century of Jewish disconnecting from orthodoxy as they became less observant. Todays Jews, many of whom are not fully observant, choose Chabad as their point of affiliation. They are open to more tradition.

cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: '36af7c51-0caf-4741-9824-2c941fc6c17b' }).render('4c4d856e0e6f4e3d808bbc1715e132f6'); });

This historic realignment of the community has major implications for US Jewry and Israel.

Chabads growing leadership is good news for Israel. Chabads support has always been unequivocal. Its schools emphasize the centrality of the Jewish homeland and its rabbis are unafraid to speak up in support of Israels security. At the same time, Chabad stays clear of engaging in Israeli politics and instead strives to be the voice of historic tradition that connects all Jews to Israel.

THIS BECAME clear during the hostilities in Gaza. While many in the Jewish community hunkered down, fearing antisemitism, or wondering about the righteousness of Israels cause. Some even criticized Israel. Chabad rabbis acted, speaking out strongly in support of Israel.

This week Im in Israel with a solidarity mission of Chabad rabbis. One suggested to his local community leaders that he conduct a zoom session from an army base. He was told that might upset some in his city who questioned last weeks military tactics.

The writer is a rabbi and a Chabad shliach in California, He can be reached at:

Go here to read the rest:

US Jewry is shifting profoundly and Chabad is on rise - Pew research - The Jerusalem Post

Related Posts


Comments are closed.

matomo tracker