The 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey, which was criticized for methodological problems, painted a grim picture. It had the American Jewish population on the decline and led to a decade of the official Jews running around with their heads cut off, trying to stop intermarriage, which, as we know, is the root of all evil.
Leonard Saxe, the Klutznick professor of contemporary Jewish Studies at Brandeis, said that the survey was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Saxe has a new study out that puts us in a growth trend, estimating one million more Jews than previously thought, for a total of 6.5 million.
The money quote:
“We have to stop worrying about whether the community will exist,” Saxe said. “Instead we should worry about the content, about how we make communal life meaningful for the many Jews who are out there.”
Which is kind of what we’ve been saying all along.