Browse By:

Monday December 10, 2018 Login |Register

A Project of

sponsored by

American Jewish Public Activity: Identity, Demography, and the Institutional Challenge

Bookmark and Share Report Misuse or Glitches

Publication Date: September 2001

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Sherry Israel

Series: Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints, No. 462

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Jewish Identification; Fundraising and Philanthropy; Organizational Development; Demography

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The author looks at the decline in Jewish communal affiliation since the 1970s. To explain this decline, she argues against a "straight line assimilation" approach and instead advocates for a more nuanced interpretation. She contends that as religious identity has become more inward and personalistic, it no longer carries with it nearly automatic expression in community-related behaviors. As such, the author argues that this new form of identity presents a problem to the old organizational structures. She states that the way to attract these "new-identity" Jews is to demonstrate that the purposes and activities of American Jewish institutions are relevant to their private concerns.