Guide What does it mean to be a Jew?

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American Jews also are more likely than those in Israel to see intellectual curiosity and a good sense of humor as key parts of their Jewish identity.

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On the other hand, Israeli Jews are more likely than U. The list of possible responses was originally designed for our survey of American Jews, which might help explain why Americans responded more affirmatively to these elements of Jewish identity. Both groups also were asked about what being Jewish means to them in a different way, with an open-ended question that allowed them to give any answer.

The vast majority of Israeli Jews cited connections with Jewish history, culture and community. Most American Jews, by contrast, did not name an additional essential element of Jewish identity in the open-ended question, perhaps in part because they felt more satisfied with the list of possible responses that had already been offered among other potential reasons.


Solid majorities in both countries say a person can be Jewish even if he or she works on the Sabbath, does not believe in God or is strongly critical of Israel. The notion that a person can be Jewish even without observing the Sabbath or believing in God may be tied to the idea held by many Jews that being Jewish is more about ancestry or culture than about religion.


Orthodox Jews in both countries are particularly likely to take this position. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Many people who are born into Jewish homes affiliate with one of these branches, but there are also those who do not.

The Deep Meaning Behind An Orthodox Jewish Wedding - World Wide Wed - Refinery29

Merely believing in the precepts of Judaism is not enough to make someone a Jew. They must complete the conversion process in order to be considered Jewish. The most stringent conversion process is accomplished in Orthodox Judaism and can be recognized by all sects of Judaism.

What does it mean to be a Jew today? What do Jews bring to the world today? | Page 5 of 7

Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative conversions may be recognized within their own branches of Judaism, but may not be acknowledged according to Orthodox standards or in the state of Israel. Though the different branches of Judaism have varying requirements for conversion, it is safe to say that the conversion process is very meaningful for whoever decides to undertake it.

  1. Jews | Definition of Jews at
  2. A closer look at Jewish identity in Israel and the U.S. | Pew Research Center.
  3. What does it mean to be Jewish? - IJN | Intermountain Jewish News;

Ultimately, to be Jewish is to be a member of a culture, a religion, and a peoplehood. Jews are unique in that they are one of the few, if only, "people" in the world that encompass both a religious, cultural and national aspect.

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