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The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! Or Is It??

Posted on 10/04/2013 @ 03:25 PM

It has been a busy week in the world of Jewish population research. Two major studies have come out in the last few days describing the current state of the US Jewish community. The Pew Forum released a broad study of Jewish beliefs, attitudes and behaviors and the Stern Center at Brandeis released their 2012 population data through a really neat state-by-state interactive map – you can see populations by education level, race, synagogues, and more.

Since the two reports came out, here is a small sampling of the headlines I’ve seen reflecting on the new data: · US Jewry going to hell in a handbasket1 · Study: American Jews losing their religion2 · Pew survey of U.S. Jews: soaring intermarriage, assimilation rates3 · Report: Jewish American Identity Has Shifted4 · Jewish People in America Losing Beliefs5 · Losing our Faith6

I write this from the IC registration center, ready to watch 1,000+ Jewish teens anxious to pay significant money to participate in a multi-day conference celebrating their Judaism. It’s a little hard to feel as pessimistic as these headlines would suggest.

What do you think? Do you think the sky is falling? Neither study directly reports on people under 18, but it’s not too hard to draw estimations from the younger segments of the study. What impact do you think this new research will (or should) have on our work in BBYO? I’d be really interested to see your thoughts and your reflections - - and what headlines you’d write for how you see our future and that predicted through these studies. Email your thoughts to rmeytin@bbyo.org.

Drawing no conclusions for this message is Rachel Meytin, Director of Jewish Enrichment and Panim

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