American Jews Losing Their Religion

22% now consider themselves non-religious Jews

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 1, 2013 3:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – America has by far the world's largest Jewish population of any country save Israel, but the proportion of them who consider themselves non-religious Jews has surged to 22%, according to a new poll. Around two-thirds of those interviewed did not belong to a synagogue and a third had a Christmas tree in their homes last year, reports the New York Times. The rate of intermarriage with non-Jews has soared to 71% for non-Orthodox Jews, and 58% for the Jewish population as a whole.

The poll found that Orthodox Jews are on course to make up a much bigger share of America's Jewish population. Researchers predict increasing polarization between religious Jews and Jews who consider themselves Jewish because of ancestry and culture but not religion. The non-religious Jews "are not connected to Jewish life the way their parents or grandparents were," the president of the Wexner Foundation philanthropy group tells Reuters, but "I don't think this means we count them out. "

The Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI is the oldest existing Jewish house of worship in the United States.   (AP Photo/Eric J. Shelton, File)
Cuban-Americans pray during a weekly service at the Sky Lake Synagogue in North Miami Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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