My latest from the Times of Israel….
A new survey released earlier this week presented major shifts in American Jewry, with one rabbinic leader calling the community “farkakte.” The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center (PRC), also concluded that 71% of the population had no idea what “farkakte” means.
This survey, the first of its kind conducted in over a decade, presented findings which took the Jewish world by surprise. “In addition to increases in intermarriage and decreases in synagogue membership, the results affirmed what we already suspected: We’re totally screwed,” said Brooklyn rabbi Moshe Levenglick. “We had a good ride but it’s over. Goodbye, American Jewry.”
Levenglick claimed that his views did not represent those of his ultra-Orthodox community; however, the PRC was unable to reach a critical mass of his constituents, as they would not take phone calls from female pollsters.
Seventy four percent of Reform Jews were found to really enjoy eating cheeseburgers. Surprisingly, this number rose to 86% among the rabbinical community. However, the margin of error on these questions was thought to be quite large, with Reform Jews interpreting the poll questions in whatever way they wanted.
“I didn’t understand what they meant when they asked how many times I have attended temple this month,” said Maria Hernandez-Cohen, rebbetzin of the Simchat Beit HaDimSum congregation in Santa Cruz, California. “I mean, I do Bikram yoga in my studio like every other day, so I guess that means a lot, right?”
Despite major declines in religious identification, most American Jews said that bagels are delicious and that they would have sex with an Israeli soldier if Israel was in need. Also, 54% of Jews believe that a Christmas tree has no place in a Jewish home between January and November.
One unnamed Israeli Cabinet minister was unconcerned with the conclusions. “The results demonstrate the continued importance of programs such as Taglit-Birthright in fostering Jewish identity. And guarantee my continued kickbacks from Taglit.”
Fifty-seven percent of responders who identified themselves as Conservative Jews claimed to have no idea what they stand for and had no further comment. Survey results were inconclusive with Reconstructionist Jews as nobody was sure how to define the questions. And more than any other stream, Messianic Jews tended to show up on the doorsteps of pollsters and bug the living crap out of them.