Survey: 1 in 5 American Jews Say They Have No Religion

| by Emily Smith

American Jews are proud to be Jewish, though nearly one in five describe themselves as having no religion, according to a Pew Research Center survey published Tuesday.

The opinion is generational, the survey reports, with 32 percent of Jewish Millennials identifying as Jewish because of their ancestry, ethnicity or culture. Those who were born between 1914 and 1927 identified as Jewish based on their faith.

Altogether, those who said they followed the Jewish faith have dropped by half since the 1950s.

"This shift in Jewish self-identification reflects broader changes in the US public," Pew's Religion and Public Life Project reads. "Americans as a whole - not just Jews - increasingly eschew any religious affiliation.”

A total of 22 percent of American Jews reported that they were atheist or agnostic, or simply did not follow any religion, identifying as “Jews of no religion”.

Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson, president of Jewish philanthropy group the Wexner Foundation, said the numbers are unsurprising.

"They are not connected to Jewish life the way their parents or grandparents were," he said. "I don't think this means we count them out."

Pew interviewed 3,475 Jewish Americans by telephone between February and June, giving a statistical margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Sources: Yahoo, The Jerusalem Post