Longitudinal Study Tracking Jewish Connections Over Two Decades Is Published
Press Contact: Beth Mayerowitz
JULY 21, 2020 – NEW YORK – Under the direction of JTS’s William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, The Class of 1995/5755 Longitudinal Study of Young American and Canadian Jews longitudinal research study has been published. The authors and co-principal investigators are Dr. Ariela Keysar, a demographer and senior fellow at the Public Policy and Law Program at Trinity College and Dr. Barry A. Kosmin, an internationally known expert in social survey research, Jewish sociology, and demography. Dr. Jeffrey S. Kress, the Bernard Heller Professor of Jewish Education at JTS, oversaw the study.
The study followed a group of b’nei mitzvah students from the time they had their bar/bat mitzvahs in 1995 until the year 2019. That cohort, now in their mid-30s, was previously contacted after they graduated from high school (resulting in the “Four-Up” report) and again after college (the “Eight-Up” report). The current report, “Twenty-Up”, outlines key findings related to Jewish identity, Judaism, demographic influences, and remaining Conservative. The study also reports conclusions related to topics such as intermarriage, Jewish holidays, and synagogue membership and attendance.
“As a historian of American Jewish history, I know how rare it is to have such abundant longitudinal data on Jewish identity,” said Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz. “To be able to learn from the choices, priorities, and attitudes that individual Jews hold over time is a gift that will deepen our understanding of the rich and varied ways that Jews access Judaism at different stages of their lives. What an invaluable resource for the entire Jewish community.”
“I am so proud to have worked on this project and to share its important findings,” said Dr. Kress, JTS Bernard Heller Professor of Jewish Education. “Our study presents data from an unprecedented 20+ year study, and the insights that were shared and the long term learnings that we can take away from its findings will impact generations to come. We plan to continue to analyze this rich source of data about how Jewish millennials find sources of meaning in their lives.”
About The Jewish Theological Seminary | JTS is a preeminent institution of Jewish higher education, training thoughtful, innovative leaders—rabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, and scholars—who strengthen our communities with a vision of Judaism that is deeply grounded in the Jewish past and thoroughly engaged with contemporary society. JTS also provides high-caliber lifelong learning and professional development to our alumni, adult learners, and Jewish communities throughout North America. Through its Library, JTS preserves and makes accessible to students and scholars throughout the world the greatest collection of Judaica in the Western Hemisphere.