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Some Frightening Statistics

October 1, 2009

According to an article in the Washington Times on August 5, 2009 by Julia Duin, the results of the 2008 American Jewish Identification Survey (AJIS) should have us very worried.

– the number of Americans who identify themselves as Jews – regardless of their religious practice – decreased slightly from 5.5 million in 1990 to 5.2 million to 5.4 million today

– Where just 20 percent of Jewish adults – about 1.12 million people – described themselves as nonreligious or cultural Jews 19 years ago, that total has risen to about 35 percent or 1.88 million people

– Since 1990, half of all marrying American Jews have married non-Jews, with the result that there are two new mixed households for every homogeneous Jewish one

– Whereas only 6 percent of all Americans identify themselves as secular – that is, they disbelieve in God and do not follow any religion, one-third of all Jews fit into that secular category

– As a result, the number of people adhering to any sort of Judaism as a religion is actually just 3.3 million to 3.4 million, the survey found. Eighteen years ago, it was 23 percent higher, at 4.3 million

– intermarriage, which has risen dramatically in recent decades, is now at well over 28 percent, way more than double what it was in the 1970s

– At most, one-quarter of young Jewish adults exclusively date other Jews, according to the NJPS. Only two-thirds of all intermarried couples have children who consider themselves Jewish, and the younger the parent, the less likely it is that the child will be a Jew

– According to ARIS, 3.6 million people in 2001 said they had a Jewish mother, which is the traditional basis for Jewish identity. However, about 500,000 of these adults who had a Jewish mother followed another religion, overwhelmingly some form of Christianity.

Read the whole article at:

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    November 2, 2009 2:37 pm

    I think that these frightening statistics are a result of having a new and different type of generation. I am a Jewish teenager and have many friends that started out Orthodox and are slowly turning away from it. I have found that my generation holds logic and questioning of up most importance, and many times they have not received answers that adhere to their type of thought process. I think that if the clear, logical answers for many of the controversial topics in Judaism were taught in schools with emphasis and clarity, or were more accessible, there would be less of a drop in statistics and greater faith in our religion.

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