A disturbing study from Pew Research Center offers the most detailed portrait of Jewish Americans in 20 years and shows a community with fraying connections to its traditions. Asked to select what’s “an essential part of being Jewish” more people picked “being intellectually curious” than “being part of a Jewish community” or “observing Jewish law.” Respondents were just as likely to consider “a good sense of humor” as essential to Jewish identity as “caring about Israel.”
Most alarming was the contrast between the general population and Jewish Americans when it came to faith in God. Among all Americans, 69 percent say they’re “certain of God’s existence” but only 34 percent of Jews agree. In an era when the Almighty fulfilled Biblical prophecy with the miraculous rebirth of a Jewish state, this lack of faith is hard to understand or explain.