Young US Jews more religious than seniors, but less attached to Israel

Pew survey finds strong correlation between younger and older American Jews in religious observance, but less attachment to Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

A survey of American Jews discovered a higher-than-expected level of religious observance among younger Jews as well as a gap in how younger and older Jews relate to Israel.

Young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 29 and older Jews 65 and up were just as likely to attend synagogue at least by once a month, both at a rate of 22 percent.

Both age groups said they cook and eat traditional Jewish foods at rates of 70%. Young adults and older Jews both said they marked the Sabbath “in a personally meaningful way” at rates of 35% and 37% respectively.

Both generations saw remarkable correlations in belief in God (76% for young adults, 72% for the seniors) and the importance of identifying with the Jewish community (32% and 34% respectively).

And seven out of ten Jews from both age groups said they identified with or leaned towards the Democratic party.

However, the generations diverged on other issues, particularly in identifying with different streams of Judaism, the State of Israel, and the Holocaust.

Seventeen percent of the young adults surveyed said they identified as Orthodox while only three percent of the older adults did. Thirty-seven percent of young adults identified with Conservative or Reform Judaism; an overwhelming 70% of older Jews did.

Older American Jews said they felt emotionally attached to Israel at a rate of 67% and that Israel was essential to their sense of Jewish identity at a rate of 46%. Young adults said they felt emotionally attached to Israel at a rate of 46% while only 35% described Israel as essential to their Jewish identity.

While 84% of older Jews said remembering the Holocaust was an essential part of their Jewish identity, 61% of the young adults agreed.