As we have explored in previous posts, one of the most telling aspects of analyzing the Your Answers Matter survey is juxtaposing the answers from the two questions:
“How important is being connected to the Jewish community to you?” And, “Do you feel connected to the Jewish community?”
Here’s how respondents answered those questions, broken down by their denomination. (Editor’s note: The results published throughout this post combine Chabad and Orthodox EXCEPT when there was a significant disparity between their answers.) When compared to their affiliated counterparts, secular Jews and Jews of no denomination did not feel strongly that it is important to be connected to the community. It is therefore unsurprising that these two demographics feel more disconnected to the community than Jews who identify with a particular stream of Judaism.
Still, there is a considerable gap between non-denominational Jews – 20%, in fact – who do not feel connected to the community despite the fact that they find a connection important. What might the community – or the respondents themselves – be able to do bridge that gap?
When asked whether respondents agree or disagree with the statement that their “religious and spiritual needs could be satisfied,” answers rounded to 80% across the board within Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist, and Orthodox. Those who identify with Chabad answers affirmatively 94% of the time. Once again, non-denominational and secular Jews don’t feel as strongly as the rest of the community.
The survey asked respondents about getting involved in Jewish life as a newcomer. Their answers:
Orthodox respondents answered affirmatively 86% of the time. At the other end of the spectrum Reconstructionist respondents were much more ambivalent, agreeing 54% of the time. Though, in this instance, secular and non-denominational Jews fell within the mean, it should be noted that they disagreed at a higher rate than any other category of respondent.
The above chart follows a remarkably similar trajectory as a chart that asks whether respondents agree that synagogues are welcoming, suggesting a possible correlation between newcomers feeling welcome in the community and the community-at-large feeling welcome in synagogues.
In this instance, however, Reconstructionist respondents agree more often than secular and non-denominational Jews.
The survey also asked about the quality of day school education. Here’s how different denominations reacted to the statement “Jewish day schools are of high quality.” This chart only includes answers from respondents who have school-age child.
94% of Chabad respondents agreed that education in day schools was of high quality. Orthodox respondents also answered affirmatively in an overwhelming majority. Surprisingly, 69% of secular Jews agreed with the statement as well, a higher percentage than Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and non-denominational respondents.
Lastly, regardless of ones’ denomination – or lack thereof, people from Pittsburgh are overwhelming proud of being Jewish and from Pittsburgh.