Journal Article

Defining American Jewry From Religious and Ethnic Perspectives: The Transitions to Greater Heterogeneity

Vivian Klaff

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 67, issue 4, pages 415-438
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/67.4.415
Defining American Jewry From Religious and Ethnic Perspectives: The Transitions to Greater Heterogeneity

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The passage of time has led to considerable changes in the character of the American Jewish population. One of these changes has been the increasing distinction between religion and ethnicity as an expression of identification with the Jewish group. The National Jewish Population Survey 2000/01 was used to examine the attitudes and behavior along religious and ethnic dimensions for respondents who are members and/or self identify with the three major Jewish denominations (Reform, Conservative and Orthodox) and a fairly large group of unaffiliated persons and persons who do not identify with any of these denominations but who do state that they are Jewish. The central question asked is how the configurations of membership (or lack thereof) and self-identification with a denomination (or lack thereof) are related to attitudes and behaviors toward the religious and ethnic dimensions of being Jewish. The results of the analysis indicate that those persons with stronger connections to Judaism, on either attitude or behavior, in general also have a stronger positive connection to ethnic Jewishness than those who express their connection through less traditional religious norms and values.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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