Denominational Variations Across American Jewish Communities

Ira M Sheskin, Harriet Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article explores the Jewish identity of different Jewish denominational identification groups using the Decade 2000 Data Set with its 19,800 interviews of Jewish households in 22 American Jewish communities. We relate the Jewish identity of individuals in each denominational group (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform/Reconstructionist) to the denominational composition of the community. Communities are clustered via k-means cluster analysis based on their denominational profiles. We examine the extent to which individual Jewish identification varies by the denominational composition of the community in which an individual resides, finding that considerable variation exists in Jewish identity measures depending on the type of denominational profile that exists in the individual's community. That is, Orthodox Jews, for example, behave differently in a community with a significant Orthodox population than in a community with few Orthodox, but many Reform Jews. Implications for Jewish communities, as well as for the broader interreligious community, are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • Community context
  • Denominations
  • Jewish communities
  • Jewish identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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