Jewish identity in America: Structural analyses of attitudes and behaviors

Uzi Rebhun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Data from the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey are utilized through facet theory technique seeking to determine the interrelationships between different components, both behavioral and attitudinal, of Jewish identification. For different typologies of Jewish identity, including the "enlarged" Jewish population, "core" Jews, and "Jews by religion," we have found a coherent structure of areas, each of which includes several identificational variables in close proximity one to another. This is manifested in the partition of the space into several regions. Similarly, the structure of American Jewish identification attests to a rather clear distinction between the two major modes of attitudes and behaviors. The different sub-groups within the Jewish population share a common denominator of the total composition of Jewish identification. Identifying the way Jews conceptualize and organize the multivariate array of their group belonging can lay a better foundation for an evaluation and interpretation of trends in Jewish identification and its determinants. We suggest that this methodological approach be applied to other, non-Jewish, groups thus providing a useful insight into the internal structure of their specific identificational components; this will contribute to furthering the understanding of the nature of religiosity and ethnicity in present-day America.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)43-63
Number of pages21
JournalReview of Religious Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


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