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Jewish Journal

Jewish Identity’s Slide to White

by Pini Herman

November 8, 2012 | 12:18 pm

Jews may be sliding white

The drop in Jewish votes for Obama has been put in the context of the overall decline in total white vote for Obama.  But while still firmly Democratic, according to Pew Research the Jewish decline was nine percent, the highest decline from 2008 measured for any studied religious group and over twice that of U.S. Whites overall, four percent.  

This may be indicative of a growing minority of Jews abandoning social justice values and minority self-identification and seems to conflicts with Steven M. Cohen’s widely published assessment that:

“Whites votes for Obama dropped by four percent and Jewish vote for Obama dropped by five percent. Statistically that means there is no difference. And compared to whites, Jews are just as firmly in the Democratic camp as they were in 2008,” he said, citing a Workman’s Circle survey released in July that he conducted that indicated Jews make their voting decisions primarily based on views on economic justice and social inclusion."

Jewish office seekers should take heed, and learn from the example of Howard Berman, that the general electorate is demographically shifting and that perhaps the Jewish electorate is shifting in a different direction at a faster rate.

Pini Herman, PhD. 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 author of the “most recent” 15 year old study of the LA Jewish population which was the third most downloaded study from Berman Jewish Policy Archives in 2011) 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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