Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Workmen's Circle Study Finds A New Kind of Jew

One in six American Jews are engaged and unaffiliated, look outside synagogue for Judaism

About a million of the six million American Jews say being Jewish is very important to them, but that they find their Jewish engagement outside of a synagogue, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The survey shows that there is a third way to be Jewish, its sponsor, the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, wrote in a press release. A person can be an observant Jew, who attends synagogue; a cultural Jew, who enjoys Jewish humor or an “engaged and congregationally unaffiliated” Jew.

“These Jews represent an opportunity for engagement. Their interests and distinctiveness make them candidates for a deeper involvement in Jewish life, while their social profile explains some of their tendencies to distance themselves from conventional religious life,” said Professor Steven M. Cohen of New York University. --Helen Chernikoff, NY Jewish Week

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