Article Library / 2015

2014-2015 Annual Assessment

In the following section we look at two very different responses to the state of Jewish identity in America today. Both responses identify the crux of the issue as the growing ascendency of individualist orientations and values, especially in the younger age cohorts. The first response, formulated by social scientists Sylvia Barack Fishman and Steven M. Cohen, consists of resisting the dominant American cultural trends. It advocates ensuring that young Jews have the life experiences and social interactions that encourage early family formation and fertility. The second response, that of Chabad outreach, seems to “flow” more with the American individualist orientation.