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Succot – the perfect antidote to social isolation and the messages of Pew

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After the long months of the Covid pandemic, I am not alone in having enjoyed a slightly less frantic schedule. Previously, for many observant Jews, entertaining guests with large shabbat and yom tov meals added pressure to busy working lives. Many, in the interests of self-care, have concluded that they intend to return to a more low-key version of hospitality or forgo it altogether in favour or quality family time.

Alongside this, earlier this summer, the Pew Research Center in Washington DC released its latest report following a wide-ranging national survey of American Jews, including some statistics that give pause for thought. Much of the focus of similar previous research was on intermarriage which famously tipped over 50% in 1990. As Jon Boyd of the UK’s Jewish Policy Research points out, “the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) prompted a huge re-think of Jewish priorities both in the US and UK, resulting in a dramatic increase in funding for Jewish educational initiatives to try to engage and inspire the young generation”. He explains that ten years later, despite the fact that intermarriage (in the US) has now increased from 52% in 1990 to 61% today (albeit much lower in the UK – 26%........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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