According to a 2013 Pew study, millennial Jews are moving away from the religious core of Judaism, evidenced by lower rates of adherence to traditional practices and by rising rates of intermarriage. Nonetheless, participants in the study overwhelmingly retained a sense of identity as Jews. What makes a Jew a Jew? How much of Jewish identity is a matter of history and culture? Or of biology? Or Politics?
The long-term consequences of this secularizing trend in the Jewish community involve the issue of “Jewish continuity.” Will future generations find any meaning in Jewish identity if a significant percentage of Jewish adults raise their children without any religious instruction? What kind of Jewish community might exist in fifty years if these trends continue?
Brad Hirschfield, Columnist, Author, Speaker, Interfaith Activist
When people are busy in the present doing what they love, or otherwise feel compelled to do, they tend to worry less about its future.
Shalom Goldman, Professor
In our time, Judaism, in all of its magnificent complexity and subtlety, has been reduced to supporting "team Israel"—whatever its policies or methods.
Steven M. Cohen, Professor, Author, Consultant
Why should we care if thousands of children of Jewish parents are raised as non-Jews or barely-Jews?
Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez, Social Worker, Author, Educator
I hope that in fifty or one hundred years we are still asking the same questions and wondering what Judaism will look like for the future generations.
Yitzchok Adlerstein, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Every Jew is a precious asset, and the Orthodox mourn the loss of every Jewish soul who brings the 3,300-year-long odyssey of survival against all odds to a dead end with his or her assimilation.
Edmund C. Case, Founder and CEO, InterfaithFamily
The future of Judaism in American depends on welcoming and embracing interfaith couples, with all of the challenges that might entail.
Rabbi Niles Elliot Goldstein, Author, Columnist, Director of Development at the Center for Interfaith Engagement
Despite their popularity, the problem with both the national and cultural approaches is that they produce a Jewishness without Judaism, a sense of identity based on place, biology, and sentiment.
Michael Felsen, Attorney and Columnist
Progressive "Jews of no religion" can find rich community life and identity in places like the Boston Workmen's Circle and its kindred Jewish cultural and social justice communal organizations.
Rabbi Eliyahu Yaakov Deutsch, Author and International Speaker on Kabbalah
Judaism is not a philosophy, but a spiritual science. The Torah outlines a complete spiritual pathway by which one can maximize one's relationships—with one's self, with others, and with God.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Author, Poet, Storyteller, Blogger, "Rabbi Rami's Guide to Judaism"
Whether you find my Judaism of value or not, it is the story you must reclaim, and reclaim it soon.
Rabbi Ben Greenberg, Director of Programs at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
As in so many instances, the solution rests not in finding comfort in either extreme but in grappling with the liminal space in between the parts.
Dr. Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, Director of Recruitment for Yeshivat Maharat
Jewish identity cannot be defined universally and the road to take will vary by institution, denomination, and individuals.
Asa West, Blogger and Columnist
All those Jews you think you've lost? We're here, even if you think you can't recognize us.