Jewish Baby Boomers

A Communal Perspective

By Chaim I. Waxman

Subjects: Ethnic History
Series: SUNY series in American Jewish Society in the 1990s
Paperback : 9780791447901, 232 pages, December 2000
Hardcover : 9780791447895, 232 pages, January 2001

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Table of contents


1. Introduction

2. Demographic Characteristics of American Jewish Baby Boomers

3. Family Patterns of American Jewish Baby Boomers

4. The Jewishness of Jewish Baby Boomers: Religion

5. The Jewishness of Baby Boomers: Ethnicity

6. Religion in American Society

7. Ethnicity in America

8. Conclusion

Appendix A. Methodology of CJF 1990 National Jewish Population Survey by Joseph Waksberg

Appendix B. Representative Frequencies

Appendix C. Representative Probability Levels



Name Index

Subject Index

A thorough analysis of the religious and ethnic identification of America's Jewish baby boomers.


This book critically analyzes American Jewish baby boomers, focusing on the implications of their Jewish identity and identification for the collective American Jewish community. Utilizing data obtained from the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey, the book begins with a demographic portrait of American Jewish baby boomers. Realizing that America's Jews are both a religious and ethnic group, a comparison is made with Protestant and Catholic baby boomers, as well as other ethnic groups. The religious patterns of the Jewish baby boomers and their ethnic patterns are examined in-depth, and placed within the larger contexts of the modern or post-modern character of religion and ethnicity. The book's extensive presentation of detailed quantitative data is consistently complemented by qualitative examinations of their communal implications for Jewish continuity and the organized American Jewish community.

Chaim I. Waxman is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, and author of America's Jews in Transition and American Aliya.


"Jewish Baby Boomers is an important book in the field of Jewish studies and the sociology of religion. It is outstanding in its presentation and analysis. " — Jerome S. Legge, Jr. , University of Georgia

"It is important to anyone interested in American Jewish life, and it also has significant implications for the dynamics of religion and ethnicity generally in contemporary American culture. This book will be a useful addition to the literature. " — Mervin F. Verbit, Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College

"Waxman has done a superb job addressing a research question that is of relevance to American society in general, Jewish society in particular, and to the social scientific study of religion. " — Ephraim Tabory, coauthor of Jewish Choices: American Jewish Denominationalism