After Pew: Thinking about American Jewish cohesion, assimilation and division

By Laurence A. Kotler-Berkowitz

October 7, 2015

Since the release of the Pew Research Center’s 2013 Survey of U.S. Jews, much of the commentary and conversation in American Jewish communal circles has been decidedly downbeat.  The rise of so-called Jews of no religion, decline in identification with institutional Jewish religious movements, and steady increase in intermarriage have raised concerns about the strength and vitality of the Jewish community in an open, enticing American society.  This article uses a conceptual framework of cohesion, assimilation and division to reassess the Pew data and challenge the communal conversation.  From an analytic perspective, it argues that while there are clear signs of assimilation and division, significant areas of cohesion remain as well.  From a values perspective, it advocates that the community recognize both the positive and negative aspects of the social processes that produce cohesion, assimilation and division among American Jews.


Topic: Sociology, Community Development, Assimilation

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Genre: Article

Language: English

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Bibliographic Information:
Kotler-Berkowitz, Laurence A. After Pew: Thinking about American Jewish cohesion, assimilation and division. 7 October 2015: