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
American Jews Losing Their Religion
The Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI is the oldest existing Jewish house of worship in the United States.    (AP Photo/Eric J. Shelton, File)

(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.

story continues below

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. " (Read more Judaism stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.