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All we can ask for is an open mind to engage with the Bible, engage with the culture and look at the possibilities.”The survey, which was published this week, is mostly composed of the standard questions: how often do you pray, how do you feel about Israel, do you date non-Jews and the like.
Much of it is a millennial-focused version of the Pew Research Center’s 2013 study of American Jews.“They are free-thinking and flexible in their spiritual and religious identity, yet they gravitate toward formal customs and ancient expressions of faith,” the survey’s introduction reads.
“Often molded by intermarriage and multiculturalism, they reject rigid or traditional definitions of what it means to be Jewish, but — more than any other generation — still consider their Jewish identity to be very important to them.”But it also includes a few unusual entries that Pew didn’t cover, like a detailed section on belief in God and the afterlife, and — no surprise here — an extensive examination of attitudes toward Jesus.
“It’s also the case that faith in God for Jews is less predictive of matters of belonging.”Some results of this week’s survey conformed to expectations of millennials as less affiliated with traditional institutions and more open to multiculturalism and pluralism.
But, regarding Barna, the polling firm, Kelman said: “They were good social scientists with skin in the game.
Most people who fund research on American Jews also come with an agenda, and I’ve been in this world long enough to know that the people who fund that research don’t interfere.
These statistics may be alarming to a Jewish establishment that has worried for decades about rising intermarriage rates.
But for Jews for Jesus, which promotes its own brand of interreligious mixing, this is not a problem.“I don’t see it as a positive or a negative,” Perlman said of intermarriage.
“I was not willing to just write them off entirely. We know religion is changing, we know parameters of identity are changing, so why would we expect different generations to look exactly the same?