Pew Research Study Outlines Decade of Changes in Jewish Community

By Adam Grobman

What did it mean to be a Jewish-American in 2020?

The Pew Research Center attempted to answer this question and many more with its new report, Jewish Americans in 2020.

Researchers found elements of stability, change, and uncertainty throughout the survey, which was completed online and by mail by 4,718 Jewish-identifying adults between November 2019 and June 2020. This is the Center’s first study on Jewish Americans since 2013’s Portrait of Jewish Americans.

The data showed stability in population size (slightly north of 2% of all Americans), religious composition (members identifying with each sect of Judaism), and intermarriage rate.

It also found that Jewish Americans are increasingly concerned with anti-Semitism, are participating in higher rates of religious divergence, and are becoming more and more politically polarized.

Researchers Alan Cooperman and Becka Alper walked viewers through the findings during a webinar with Jewish Together.

“Most Jews say that there is more anti-Semitism than five years ago,” said Alan Cooperman, Director of Religious Research at Pew. “Half of participants feel less safe.”

Jews in America are more likely to say that being Jewish is more related to culture or ancestry than about religion. While they find cultural activities like cooking Jewish foods and celebrating holidays important,  Jews in America are less likely than the average American to attend religious services weekly.

Most participants responded prior to the most serious stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Presidential Election, and the recent surge in Middle East conflict, leading to uncertainty about how those events may have affected views of Jews in America.

The full report, key findings, and insights are available at