Publication Date: January 2004
Publisher: AviChai Foundation
Author(s): Barry A. Kosmin; Ariela Keisar
Research Area: Culture and religion; Education
Keywords: North American Jews; Jewish identification; Identity formation
The study provides an opportunity to gauge the impact of the college years upon Jewish identification. It is part of an ongoing longitudinal project. Since 1995-96 the authors have tracked members of the Conservative movement bar/bat mitzvah class of 5755 as they have made their way from middle school through high school and now into the final years of college. The views of nearly 1000 Jewish college students from the U.S. and Canada were compared with what they reported four and eight years earlier. The report describes how the decisions to attend a particular college and the time allocation mode once enrolled were shaped by Jewish considerations; it examines the historical and political context of the period which this class studied in college and its impact on these students. The report tracks the development of this generation's Jewish connections and finally explores what has remain stable or changed in the period from 1995 to 2003 in the ways these young people connect to Jewish life.