Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More American Jews Found; Lost

Among Jewish professionals, surveys are big, expensive instruments of political warfare. Believe that Jews shouldn't marry people of other religions? Commission a study from the right person, and he or she will give you the headline you want: "Jews who Marry Christians Less Likely To Raise Kids Jewish." (Angry community dialogue ensues). The opposite perspective can also be commissioned for $100-150K from a willing demographer. These aren't joke surveys either. People put a lot of work into them. But the conclusions usually boil down to one of two stories:

X is Good for the Jews (i.e. "The Jews are Flourishing")
X is Bad for the Jews (i.e. "The Jews are Floundering")

Watch this at work with the latest study to come out, called, "The Jews Are Multiplying", which says there are more Jews in this country than we thought before. (The people commissioning the previous and corresponding "The Jews Are Dwindling" study, apparently forgot to account for all the young people without landlines or who weren't home at 6 PM when the surveyors called).

The Jews Are Flourishing perspective: our numbers are growing!
The Jews Are Floundering perspective: there are millions more Jews out there that we, the people with money in communal institutions, have failed to reach through our programs! Woe is us!

2 comments:

Nino said...

Wait, a Jewish community organization failed to reach Jewish respondents just because they don't have landlines? Considering what percentage of classical Jewish humor is built on the impossibility of avoiding solicitations from the community institutions, this discovery may single-handedly undo decades of American Jewish culture.

Hannah said...

These are dire consequences indeed!