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Belonging Without Believing: Jews and their Distinctive Patterns of Religiosity-and Secularity

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Publication Date: September 2008

Publisher(s): Florence G. Heller-JCC Association Research Center

Author(s): Steven M. Cohen; Lauren Blitzer

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Academic Research; Jewish Identification; Social Patterns; Religion

Coverage: United States


This report is based on some findings of the 2008 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's study on the American Religious Landscape. The authors use the findings of this study to compare and contrast Jewish religious beliefs, behavior, and belonging to the majority Christian population. The study concludes that unaffiliated Jews believe and behave like the religiously unaffiliated American, with the major difference being that they belong: despite their lack of beliefs, they join communal institutions, like the religiously committed American. The authors offer implications of this trend for Jewish communal policy.


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