Date of this Version
Review of Religious Research (2010) 51(3): 324-332.
With the rapid rise of Jewish interfaith marriage and the migration of Jews away from traditional Jewish neighborhoods, many Jewish teenagers in the U.S. have little interaction with other Jews and little exposure to the Jewish religion. Here I use National Study of Youth and Religion survey data to examine Jewish teenagers’ syncretism or acceptance of different religious forms. The results show that Jewish teens are more syncretic than other teens, and that variations in religious activity, an emphasis on personal religiosity, and living in an interfaith home explain some of the difference in syncretism between Jewish and non-Jewish teens. Among Jewish teens, low levels of religious observance, having few opportunities to interact with other Jews, living in an interfaith home, and lack of an emphasis on personal religiosity are each positively correlated with syncretism. I conclude by discussing the implications of Jewish teenagers’ syncretism in a pluralistic, predominantly Christian nation.