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The Demographics of American Jewry

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Publication Date: January 1992

Publisher(s): Institute of Contemporary Jewry

Author(s): Sidney Goldstein

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Population and demographics (Ethnic and racial groups)

Keywords: American Jews; Demography

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Whether American Jewry faces greater assimilation or is transforming itself into a different but still dynamic community is the focus of on-going debate. The current patterns of low fertility, high levels of intermarriage, lowered residential density, and changing composition can potentially weaken the demographic base of the American Jewish population. This need not be so. To the extent that Jews retain a comparable close-knit, ethnic-religious identification within the total society, the potential for continued vitality remains. Stability of numbers or even declining numbers need not constitute a fundamental threat to the maintenance of a strong Jewish community and to high levels of individual Jewish identity, providing appropriate and successful institutional changes are introduced.