Alec, an American friend, sent us news of a surprising survey among young American Jews born between 1984 and 1999.

jews christmas

The survey, carried out by a prestigious institute and commissioned by the Jews for Jesus, interviewed 599 young American Jews. These young adults describe themselves as religious, and practice Jewish ritual, but are unaffiliated. They value tradition and family, but don’t plan on marrying only Jews. They are proud to be Jewish, but don’t feel that contradicts with practicing other religions. Eighty percent of these Jewish young people self-identify as “religious Jews,” as opposed to just a slim majority of all Jews. And nearly half say being Jewish is “very important” to them, higher than any other generation.

The data on Jesus might be especially surprising to Jews who, if they agree on nothing else, believe that Jews for Jesus and its “messianic” philosophy are beyond the pale. The survey found that 21% of Jewish young people believe Jesus was “God in human form who lived among people in the 1st century.” And 28% “see him as a rabbi or spiritual leader, but not God.”

The openness to non-Jewish practice extends beyond that: 42% of respondents say they celebrate Christmas. A majority says one can hold other faiths and still be Jewish. And the survey found that one-third of Jewish young people believe “God desires a personal relationship with us.”

Read further in the Times of Israel article here