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Most Jewish College Students in Columbus Reject ‘fundamentalism’

Most Jewish students on the college level here do not accept the fundamentalist religious beliefs of their parents, although students who belong to Hillel groups tend to accept “fundamentalistic interpretations” more often than those who belong to Greek letter fraternities or sororities, according to a survey made here by Rabbi David Stavsky, of Beth Jacob Congregation.

Rabbi Stavsky made his survey, based on 100 questions, among 120 male and female students belonging either to Hillel or to the Greek letter societies. He reported that he has found “significant differences” in the two groups regarding synagogue attendance, prayer, kashruth observance and Jewish ceremonial observance. On the other hand, he said, the two groups agreed in their attitude about the significance of the home as a source of religious influence.

“The question of socioeconomic background, ” Rabbi Stavsky reported, “was investigated as well as the religiosity of home life. A significant correlation was found to be present between high income and Greek group students, high income and liberal attitudes toward religion. Students tend to show that there is a break from the religiosity of grandparents, (who were Orthodox) to the students themselves (who consider themselves to be Reform). However, there are a number of students who consider themselves to be Orthodox despite the fact that their parents are either Conservative or Reform. This supports the theory of present day sociologists that may university students are not satisfied with the religiosity of their parents and are seeking a more traditional approach to religion.”

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