Now this is where things really start to get interesting.
When we looked at the Immersed and Connected Groups, we saw categories of people that we are accustomed to seeing, i.e. people whose Judaism is deeply embedded within their lives. People who may be more or less observant, but who certainly view their Judaism as an integral part of their identities.
Now, we turn to a group that has a lot more nuance: the Involved Group.
In many ways, it’s easier to view this group relative to the Holiday Group, which we will explore next post.
While the Involved Group may not engage with their Judaism in classical ways like synagogue attendance, they do very much value connections to the community and to communal organizations.
Most of them participate in a Passover seder (77%) and light Hanukkah candles (73%). But they do not typically keep kosher at home (3), light Shabbat candles (21%), or attend services regularly (1%).
On the other hand, they do consume Jewish news (97%) AND Israel news (78%) as regularly as the Connected group.
What distinguishes this group from the Holiday Group is that 58% of these folks participate as a Jewish organizational member (JCC, formal, or informal). Nearly ALL of them (99%) have participated in an organizational activity in the past year and 71% of them have donated to a Jewish organization in the past year. Those numbers are very different for the Holiday Group.
So, it is clear that Judaism is valuable enough to this group that they are regularly seeking news about it, attending Jewish community events, and giving their hard-earned money to Jewish causes.
This pattern of engagement allows us to see a lot more detail and color than we previously saw. This group is a far cry from un-engaged.
Ritual observance may not be a priority, but there is a strong sense of community here… and we – as Jewish communal service providers – should make sure that we are creating programs (and marketing them) to attract different audiences with different interests and priorities.