What is growing today is “nondenominationalism”, the increasing number of Jews who call themselves seculars, cultural Jews, or “just Jewish”. Just as significant numbers of those raised as Catholics and Protestants now define themselves as seculars and an increasing number of voters call themselves “Independents”, so, too, the number of Jews raised in one of the four branches, but not identifying with any of them, is increasing. The number of adult Jews who would not identify themselves with one of the sectors increased from 20 to 27 percent from 1990 to 2000, and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey of 2007 found that the number of Jews following the practice continued to grow. Thus, many worry that Jews, especially those of Generation X, have abandoned community for a host of more individual alternatives. These alternatives have, in common, a profound interest in the self and its redemption and in one’s own spiritual journey and personal fulfillment.

Marc Lee Raphael, The Synagogue in America: A Short History (New York & London: New York University Press, 2011), 204-205.

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