To put it bluntly, far fewer American Jews have no idea of what being Jewish means.
This graphic should be a huge warning sign for the future of American Jews:
As we have observed before, American Jews have increasingly embraced liberalism or "progressivism" as their religion, and twist Judaism into this new religion. Worse, their views of what is progressive and liberal is at odds with what the terms really mean, as the antisemites of the Left - mostly coming from the socialist side - have managed to poison the terms with the idea that self-determination for Jews is not a liberal idea.
This idea of a profoundly flawed pseudo-intellectual liberalism as the basis of a "Jewish" identity all but ensures that American Jewry is not going to last for very long.
There is a deep gap in one's life once God is pushed out of religious life, and American Jews are filling that gap, according to this poll, with Woody Allen and Adam Sandler. They are pretending that attending college is a substitute for attending synagogue.
The people who self-righteously describe themselves as Jews when attacking Israel are the ones who are represented by this graphic:
This poll doesn't talk about intermarriage, but it doesn't have to. American Jews are more interested in being able to discuss the latest New York Times piece than they are in ensuring the future of Jews in America for the next few generations. (Based on this statistic, more American Jews get their ideas of Judaism from the media than from the Torah.)
The poll isn't all sunny from the Israeli side either, but Israeli Jews are not in danger of disappearing.
Yossi Klein Halevi makes some cogent points about the differences between American and Israeli Jews here, saying that much of the difference comes from American Jews being part of a community and Israeli Jews being part of a people:
It may be optimistic to call the American Jewish community a community. Conservative Jews, who have been traditionally very Zionist, are disappearing, and Reform Jews are increasingly non- or anti-Zionist. Only among the Orthodox American Jews is there an increase in population but most have little in common with the rest of American Jewry.
If this poll points to anything, it is that the growing Orthodox Jewish population in America need to do more outreach towards the non-observant - not necessarily to make them religious but to widen their perspectives as to what Judaism means. In Israel, there are innovative programs for Jewish education that blur the lines between religious and non-religious; this survey shows that America desperately needs the same.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.