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2019 Annual Assessment

Declining fertility in most Diaspora Jewish communities has led to an increase in the relative demographic weight of older age groups within the communities. This trend was reinforced recently with the shift of the “baby boomer” generation (those born between 1945 and 1960) into the older age cohorts. In North America, France, and the UK, those 60 or older make up a third of all adult Jews. In some countries, like Germany, the number of Jews aged 60 or older represents more than 40 percent of the Jewish population. We recommend monitoring and allocating resources within these communities to provide services geared to this age group as it gradually retires and seeks to fill its newfound free time. We recommend, among other things, to design and expand Jewish educational opportunities tailored to this age group. Various studies from recent years show that “close relationships with Jewish grandparents directly influence a range of Jewish behaviors” among the young. Therefore, investing in this generation should not be considered as coming at the expense of the younger generation, but rather as an indirect way to strengthen the Jewish identity of the younger generation.