Last week theÂ Pew Forum of Religion and Public LifeÂ released its “US Religious Landscape Survey.” Â It’s quite awesome, as it maps out the myriad religious communities in the United States — by region, by income, education, marriage and reproductive patterns, age, gender, ethnicity, and, well, just about everything short of sock color. Â So, if you want to know how Jews measure up next to other Americans, I recommend checking it out. Â For those of you who prefer bullet points:
1. Â 28% of Americans now identify with a faith tradition that they were not born into.
2. Â 16.1% of Americans do not identify with any faith tradition (Easily the group with the largest growth).Â
3. Â The percentage of Jews converting out of Judaism exceeds the percentage of people becoming Jews by choice.
This isn’t about bean-counting, but it does tell an important part of the story for American Jews — Jews may be different, but Jews are not exceptional. Â At least no more exceptional than any of the other religious communities in America. Â