哈西德组织Chabad Lubavitch的媒体主管拉比Motti Seligson表示，由于年轻的东正教犹太人队伍依然强大，他感到自豪和乐观。然而，他赞扬了其他不认同宗教信仰但仍然信奉犹太文化和传统的年轻人。
Orthodox Jews stand apart in this regard. They are among the most religious groups in U.S. society in terms of the share — 86% — who say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 78% of Black Protestants and 76% of white evangelicals.
According to Pew, 9% of U.S. Jews describe themselves as Orthodox. Far more belong to the two long-dominant branches of American Judaism: 37% identify as Reform and 17% as Conservative. More than one in four don’t identify with any particular branch yet consider themselves to be Jewish ethnically, culturally or by family background.
Interfaith marriage is commonplace: 42% of married Jewish adults said they had a non-Jewish spouse, according to Pew.
Jacobs said he wants Reform congregations to embrace this phenomenon rather than view it as a sign of demise.
“Intermarriage can expand who’s part of the Jewish community,” he said. “You see Black, brown, Asian families choosing to be a part of Jewish life.”
Pew found evidence that the U.S. Jewish population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Overall, 92% of Jewish adults identify as non-Hispanic white, and 8% identify with all other categories combined. But among Jews ages 18 to 29, that figure rises to 15%.
Pew’s survey suggests other generational changes are unfolding. For example, among Jews ages 18 to 29, 17% self-identify as Orthodox, compared with just 3% of those 65 and older. And among Jewish adults under 30, 37% identify with either Reform or Conservative Judaism, compared with about 70% of those 65 and older.
Politically, U.S. Jews on the whole tend to support the Democratic Party. In the survey, which was conducted months before the 2020 election, 71% said they were Democrats or leaned Democratic.
But Orthodox Jews have moved in the opposite direction: 75% of them said they were Republicans or leaned Republican, compared with 57% in 2013. And 86% of them rated Donald Trump’s handling of policy toward Israel as “excellent” or “good,” while a majority of all U.S. Jews described it as “only fair” or “poor.”
While there are signs of political polarization among U.S. Jews, the survey also found areas of consensus. For instance, more than 80% say they feel at least some sense of belonging to the Jewish people, and three-quarters say “being Jewish” is very or somewhat important to them.
Pew asked respondents which of various causes and activities are “essential,” “important but not essential” or “not important” to what being Jewish means to them. More than 70% said remembering the Holocaust and leading a moral and ethical life are essential, and 59% cited working for social justice.
Rabbi Noah Farkas of Valley Beth Shalom, a Conservative synagogue in Encino, California, said he hopes Jewish Americans can maintain solidarity even as their ranks diversify and many forego religious observance.
“It is our imperative to find ways to be nimble and compelling enough for the Jews to want to invest their time and resources in the broader community,” he said via email. “So the struggle for me is not the identity, but the practice of Jewish life and how we hold a community together when others are trying to tear us apart.”
Rabbi Motti Seligson, media director of the Hasidic organization Chabad-Lubavitch, expressed pride and optimism as the ranks of young Orthodox Jews remain robust. Yet he commended other young adults who don’t identify as religious but still embrace Jewish culture and traditions.
“They are eschewing the old construct of denominational affiliation and choosing a Jewish lifestyle that is uniquely their own yet ultimately connected to their people and heritage,” he said.
Pew’s survey was conducted online and by mail; the margin of error for questions posed to all respondents was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content.