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Federation study: Middle-aged and older Jews seek communal engagement

Jewish communities have neglected that demographic, according to Sarah Eisenman, chief community and Jewish life officer at JFNA.

Building community. Credit: Bob Dmyt/Pixabay.
Building community. Credit: Bob Dmyt/Pixabay.

Half of U.S. Jewish adults ages 55 to 74 are not fulfilled with their Jewish community, and less than half feel like they belong, according to a new study released by Jewish Federations of North America.

Of those not involved with their local Jewish community, nearly 75% want deeper engagement with other Jews that goes beyond synagogue and religious traditions. Also, 54% want to find ways to connect with others at a similar stage in life.

The survey uncovered the impact that such a deeper experience can have. Older Jews who have many Jewish friends and engagement in Jewish life have a greater likelihood of positive feelings as they enter the next stage of life.

“We in the Jewish community invest significant attention on engaging younger adults, but this study has shown us that we may have been overlooking another important constituency,” stated Sarah Eisenman, JFNA chief community and Jewish life officer.

“Midlife adults represent the largest demographic in the Jewish community, and this study shows that they are looking for contemporary and meaningful ways to connect Jewishly,” she stated.

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