This past weekend, I was speaking with friends who are getting ready to head to Florida for the winter. Our conversation quickly transitioned from talking about their travels to discussing Florida’s large Jewish population.
As a child in the 1960’s, Tampa had about 10,000 Jews and three synagogues. Today, the Tampa Jewish population has grown to approximately 30,000. In the Tampa Bay area (which includes Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties) there are approximately 70,000 Jews and over twenty synagogues.
After this discussion, I started thinking about an article someone recently sent me titled, “10 Key Findings About Jewish Americans.” While the study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, does not focus on demographics, it provides a great snapshot of how American Jews are living their lives. It includes statistics on the Jewish community’s views on Israel, Antisemitism, and much more. Below are the findings:
- The size of the adult Jewish population has been fairly stable in percentage terms, while rising in absolute numbers, roughly in line with the growth of the U.S. population.
- Like the overall U.S. population, Jews appear to be growing more racially and ethnically diverse.
- U.S. Jews are less religious than American adults overall.
- By percentage, Jewish Americans are predominantly liberal and favor the Democratic Party, but Orthodox Jews have a highest Republican affiliation.
- Three-quarters of American Jews think there is more anti-Semitism in the U.S. today than there was five years ago.
- A large majority of U.S. Jews (82%) say caring about Israel is either “essential” or “important” to what being Jewish means to them.
- Majorities of U.S. Jews engage in cultural activities like cooking Jewish food (72%), sharing holidays with non-Jewish friends (62%) and visiting historical Jewish sites (57%).
- Younger Jews are more likely than older Jews to identify as Orthodox and more likely to say they do not belong to any particular branch of Judaism.
- Members of different branches of American Judaism generally do not feel they have “a lot” in common with one another.
- About four-in-ten married Jews (42%) have a non-Jewish spouse, but intermarriage rates differ within subgroups.
You can CLICK HERE to read the full article and access the entire Pew Study.
I am excited to hear your opinion about this study – please share with me your thoughts!
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