How Spiritual Are America’s Jews?

New study by Synagogue 3000.

The first-ever comparative national study of spirituality among American Jews and Christians demonstrates that young Jews are more spiritually inclined on every available measure than their elders. The historic large gap in spiritual orientation between Jews and others is narrowing, especially among younger adults, those 35 and under. The S3K Synagogue Studies Institute report, written by Professors Steven M. Cohen and Lawrence A. Hoffman, both of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, draws upon a web-based national survey of 1596 Jews and 1520 respondents drawn from the general population.

This growth of spiritual receptivity among young adult Jews can be attributed to 3 factors:

  1. The growth in the number of Orthodox Jews, especially among people under 35.
  2. The parallel, and even more substantial, growth of intermarried families and Jews by choice, both signifying the growth of Jews with Christian parents, husbands and wives. These family members appear to render their Jewish relatives more open to, and comfortable with, the ideas, expressions and language of spirituality.
  3. Even non-Orthodox Jews with two Jewish parents (a shrinking population sector, albeit still a majority) are more receptive to spiritual language than older counterparts.