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American Jewish Millennials Are Even A Smaller Jewish Minority

by Pini Herman

May 2, 2013 | 2:03 pm

Jewish Needles Finding Each Other In a Large Haystack?

Millenials, born roughly between 1983 and 2000, that is approximately ages 14 to 30 are a large group, 41 percent of the US population, often called the baby-boom echo because the are the kids of the baby boomers.

This is an important group because it’s this group that is current going through school and college, pairing up, forming households and having children themselves.  These are the consumers everyone is closely is watching.

Jewish baby boomers married later and had less kids than their non-Jewish counterparts and if Los Angeles is an indicator, using the data captured in 1996 for the Los Angeles Jewish Population Survey, only 23 percent of LA’s Jewish population is estimated to be millennials, currently in 2013.

The Jewish millennial isn’t finding many other Jewish millenials and probably spending most of their time in settings where they are an even smaller minority than their parents within their age cohort experienced as a baby boomer.  The Jewish baby boomer may have been 2 percent of the general baby boom population, while the Jewish Millenial is probably less than 1 percent of the general Millenial segment of the population.

This means that Millennials need to work twice as hard than their baby boomer parents did to find a Jewish partner among the much more numerous non-Jewish Millennial members of the population.  As marriageable Millenial Jews are rarer in the U.S. population, they may become more precious, not only to Jews, but perhaps also to the increasing number of non-Jewish Americans who hold Judaism in high regard.  It would not be surprising that intermarriage among Millennials may increase as the historical phenomenon of some world Jewish communities approaching being “loved to death” may eventually become part of American Jewish history, but probably not within our lifetimes or the lifetimes of Millennials and their children.

American Jewish Millennials may be the first generation who may experience more philo-semitism than anti-semitism in their environment.  Rather than organizing an Anti-Defamation League the Anti-Exaltation League may have to be formed to fight the attraction and
positive attention exhibited toward Millennial Jews.

Pini Herman, PhD. specializes in demographics, big data and predictive analysis, has served as Asst. Research Professor at the University of Southern California Dept. of Geography,  Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work,  Research Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following Bruce Phillips, PhD. in that position and is a past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. Currently he is a principal of Phillips and Herman Demographic Research. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com To follow Pini on Twitter:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Bruce Phillips is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He has conducted Jewish population...

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