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February 2012
Dear Friends:
Leonard Saxe
Leonard Saxe  
 

 

Last year, several of my colleagues at CMJS and I published a paper in the journal Contemporary Jewry that reported, contrary to the conventional wisdom, that American Jews' emotional attachment to Israel was not declining. Rather, according to the annual surveys conducted by the American Jewish Committee since the mid-1980s, the level of attachment had held fairly steady----or slightly increased----over the past quarter century. As often occurs when conventional wisdom is upended, our paper elicited challenges from skeptical colleagues.

 

Our colleagues' challenges were both methodological and conceptual. The AJC surveys included only respondents who said their religion is Jewish. What if we had examined surveys that included respondents who identify as Jewish but not by religion? Moreover, almost all contemporary surveys report that older Jews are more attached to Israel. If declining attachment across the generations doesn't explain this finding, then what does?  

 

Continue reading

Understanding Young Adult Attachment to Israel: Period, Lifecycle, and Generational Dynamics

 

Contemporary Jewry, Vol. 31, 2011 (Online First)
Benjamin Phillips

 

Social scientists who study contemporary Jewry are engaged in an intense debate over trends in American Jewish attachment to Israel. The dominant view has been that age-related differences reported in surveys indicate intergenerational decline, with successive birth cohorts less emotionally attached to Israel than their predecessors. An alternative view has been that age-related differences reflect stages of the lifecycle, with members of each birth cohort becoming more emotionally attached to Israel as they grow older. Drawing on evidence from four sets of surveys administered to comparable samples at ten-year intervals, the present paper weighs the evidence for the "generational" versus "lifecycle" hypotheses about the nature of changes in attachment. 
Researcher in the Spotlight
Nicole Samuel

  

Who are the researchers who formulate the questions, create the surveys, analyze the data, run the focus groups, and author our publications? 

 

Meet Nicole Samuel, researcher at CMJS since 2005.

 

I'm Nicole Samuel, research associate at CMJS. My research portfolio includes Jewish identity, Jewish education, and communal organizations. As a researcher, I've had different opportunities to do fieldwork, including spending several weeks in summers 2007 and 2008 traveling to Jewish overnight camps. I didn't attend overnight camp as a child, but I think I made up for it with my field work. I saw the power of experiential Jewish education and learned how friendships at camp translate into life-long social networks. I observed campfires, Shabbat under the stars and even a production of "High School Musical" in Hebrew. I spoke with Israeli emissaries who were learning about the diversity of Jewish life in America and counselors who were deciding to dedicate their careers to Jewish education, and specifically, overnight camp.

 

Volume 6, Issue 1
In This Issue
Understanding Young Adult Attachment
Researcher in the Spotlight

 
Employment at CMJS


The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies currently has openings for a research associate and a web/database developer. Please visit our employment page to learn more.
 
 
 


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Constructs is the e-newsletter of Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies,   Steinhardt Social Research Institute, and  Fisher-Bernstein Institute