The Jewish Community Study of New York, just published, describes fascinating developments in the largest center of Jewish life outside of Israel. There is much to digest and discuss. For the moment, though, I want to quickly address the small corner of the study that relates to a contentious issue among social scientists who study the Jews: trends in attachment to Israel.
The study’s authors, Steven Cohen, Jack Ukeles and Ron Miller, interpret the study’s findings to be consistent with Cohen’s broader claim that attachment to Israel is declining across the generations among non-Orthodox Jews, primarily due to intermarriage. A careful review of the evidence presented in the study report, however, suggests the possibility of an alternative interpretation. Continue reading