Study of Community Trends Conducted by American Jewish Committee

The American Jewish Committee today made public a summary of a preliminary report on a study of the Jewish Community of Trenton, New Jersey, conducted by its Scientific Research Department. The survey established the following:

1. Overwhelmingly Jews, young and old, wish to retain their Jewish identity and to maintain a Jewish community within the framework of American society.

2. The majority of Jews, young and old, feel more comfortable with Jews than with non-Jews. Adolescents, however, accept the non-Jew more easily than do their parents even though they, like the latter, reject intermarriage in a large majority of cases.

3. The large majority of Jews, young and old, have at one time or another in their lives experienced anti-Semitism. In most cases it was of the “name calling” variety. In fewer instances other varieties of prejudice or discrimination were met.

4. Most of the Jews interviewed, when asked to define Jewishness, replied in terms of religion. Eight out of ten adults and 97 percent of the teen-agers replied in these terms. Apparently the gradual disappearance or weakening of older symbols of identification with Jewishness has intensified the search for other forms of belonging. Religion appears to offer such a symbol to many teen-agers.

5. On the subject of Israel, 94 percent of those interviewed expressed generally warm, favorable attitudes. However, very few (only seven percent) expressed any desire to live in Israel. This is true of both adults and children.

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