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Decreasing Affiliation

Decreasing Affiliation

The op-ed by Steven M. Cohen, Jack Ukeles and Ron Miller, summarizes the results of the “Jewish Community Study of New York, 2011” (N.Y. Jewry’s Stunning Diversity, And Why That’s Good,” Sept. 21)

The authors state that the number of synagogue-affiliated Conservative and temple-affiliated Reform Jews has shown little or no change from 2002 until now. That doesn’t square with the actual published findings of the study:

“In New York, over a 20-year time period from 1991 to 2011, the percentage of households that are Orthodox has increased and now stands at 20%, just ahead of the Conservative percentage (19%) and not far behind the proportion who identify as Reform (23%). This pattern represents a marked shift from 1991, when Conservative and Reform proportions were each about two and a half times the size of the then much smaller Orthodox household percentage (13% in 1991). Over the last two decades, both Conservative and Reform household percentages have fallen, with the Conservative proportion falling even further than the Reform….”

A box follows, stating that Conservative synagogue affiliation has dropped in the past decade from 26 percent to 19 percent. I define that as significantly more than “little or no change.” I wonder what the authors say.

One other point. The article in The Jewish Week says that Orthodox is “arguably the group with the highest levels of Jewish engagement.” Arguably? It’s unquestionable that the Orthodox are the most Jewishly engaged of any identifiable Jewish group. 


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