Region of Residence and Jewish Identification, US 2000-01

Isaac W. Eberstein, Florida State University
Kyle Reese-Cassal, Washington State Forecast Analyst

This research examines variability in the extent and form of ethnic identification among Jews in the US, with a primary interest in place of residence, using data from the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01. Jewish identification is operationalized in terms of denominational preference, subjective Jewish identity, and ritual behavior. Overall relationships are examined, and controls for demographic and social variables are considered, in order to explore the mechanisms associated with differences in the extent and nature of Jewish identification between places. Findings indicate that denominational affiliation varies by region and county size, with more Orthodox in the Northeast and the largest metropolitan areas, and Reform and Other Jews more distributed to other regions and smaller places. Region, but not county size, is significantly related with ritual behavior (West and South less observant), while county size is related with subjective Jewish identity (less in non-metropolitan and the largest metropolitan areas).

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Education, Gender, Religion, Language and Culture