Continuing the Tradition: Assimilation vs. Continuity Among American Jews

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?


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