How Strong is Orthodox Judaism -- Really? The Demographics of Jewish Religious Identification


Publication Date: January 1991

Publisher: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Daniel J. Elazar

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: Religious Denominations; Affiliation; Jewish Identification; Demography

Type: Report


The author contends that as opposed to the popular image of a tiny embattled minority seeking to impose its will on the vast majority of world Jewry, Orthodox Judaism commands the allegiance of between 33 to 45 percent of all the Jews in the world and 50 to 70 percent of those who identify as religious in some way. Thus, he concludes that if the Orthodox claims are strong, it is not only because they control all of the religious establishment outside of the United States by law or weight of tradition, but this is also because they have the numerical strength to retain that control.