A Closer Look at the Connected Group

Today we will take a look at the second group of the Patterns of Jewish Engagement. The Connected Group makes up approximate 39% of all Jewish Pittsburgh adults, or roughly 12,500 people.

In terms of denomination, an overwhelming majority of people in this group consider themselves either Conservative (28%) or Reform (54%).

People in the Connected Group are living very Jewish lives. What makes this group “Connected” is that while they may not observe Jewish rituals to the same degree as the Immersed Group, there are behaviors that are nearly universal (or at least heavily prevalent) among this group.

For instance, 100% of them raise their children as Jews. And of those who are married, only 14% are intermarried.

While they likely do not keep kosher at home or always (6%), they do celebrate a Passover Seder (98%) and light Hanukkah candles (97%).

An estimated 67% of Connected Jews are synagogue members. They generally do not attend services monthly or more (23%), but they DO attend High Holiday services (95%).

Nearly three-quarters of this group send their children to either a Jewish early-childhood center, day school or part-time school. And 90% of them donate to Jewish causes.

They may not light Shabbat candles (26% do “usually” or “always), but they fast on Yom Kippur (92%).

In terms of participation in community events/organizations, 64% of the Connected Group belong to another Jewish organization or the JCC. Nearly all of them (98%) attend Jewish programming throughout the year at a non-synagogue or -JCC event.

In the next post, we will look at those in the Involved Group, which offer a very different picture of Judaism for a large swatch of community members. The nuanced differences between the Involved Group and the Holiday Group present some important findings for any service provider interested in educating and engaging Jews throughout Pittsburgh.

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