Do We Want to Be Who We Really Are?


Publication Date: June 2003

Publisher: Sh'ma, Inc.

Author(s): Gary A. Tobin

Research Area: Culture and religion; Social conditions

Keywords: Jewish Identification; Diversity; Family

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The author dispels a mythical ideal of what the Jewish family looks like. He defines four realities of the modern American Jewish family: the extended family is largely inoperative for many Jews; Judaism is not the primary identity for most American Jews; Jewish individuals and families are no longer defined by blood; families are diverse in race, religion, sexual preference, and a myriad of other factors. He argues that the mythical ideal may not be desirable and suggests ways to address the needs of the American Jewish community in the 21st century.

In Sh'ma: a Journal of Jewish Responsibility, vol.33, no.62 (June 2003).