Ever since Pew published its new study of American Jews last week, we’ve been hearing a lot about what Jews aren’t.
Jews aren’t as religious as they used to be. They don’t go to synagogue as often. Jews aren’t marrying other Jews or raising their kids Jewish or affiliating with the Conservative movement.
Here at the Forward, we think that what’s been missing from the conversation is an exploration of what Jews are. Ninety-four percent of all Jews are proud of being Jewish. Even among demographic groups that don’t send their kids to Jewish summer camps or attend Passover Seders in overwhelming numbers, the vast majority says they’re proud of their Judaism. Only 24% of Jewish 18 to 29 year olds say they always or usually light Shabbat candles; 96% of that young demographic say they are proud to be Jewish.
So what does it mean to be proud to be Jewish if you don’t light Shabbat candles? You tell us.
We’re looking for Jews who have their own real connection with Jewish life.
The mom who struggles to bring her kids up Jewish in the age of Miley Cyrus. The guy who doesn’t celebrate Hanukkah, but plays Klezmer-influenced hip-hop at a go-go bar in Queens. The woman who sees her Palestinian solidarity activism as an extension of her Jewish background. The old-timer whose Texan synagogue needs him to make a minyan. For the teenager obsessed with artisanal gefilte fish even though she’s never set foot on Orchard Street.
Help us find the 94%. Tell us the stories of today’s proud American Jews. Tell us who they are, describe what they do that’s important to all of us and we may feature them in an upcoming issue of the Forward.
Let us know your name, your email, and the name and story of the person you are submitting in the form below.