New Report Explores the Health of American Synagogues
A new report from the Synagogue Studies Institute, our Jewish partner in the Faith Communities Today (FACT) initiative, explores the health of American synagogues based on findings from our FACT 2020 study analyzed and interpreted by Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, D.Min. and Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Key findings of the report include:
- Most synagogues are growing (40%) or stable (20%), while others are declining (40%)
- Synagogues change locations to reflect demographic migration patterns within the U.S
- Synagogues embrace technology
- Most synagogues report high levels of congregational vitality
- Synagogues are involved in their communities
- Synagogues have yet to invest the resources necessary to attract the next generation and have maintained relatively low rates of young Jewish adult engagement (a reality across the board of faith traditions in America as a whole)
- Rabbis are older, male, long tenured and often the sole clergy member in their synagogues
Explore a more detailed analysis and interpretation of what these findings mean for the future and viability of U.S. synagogues in the full report:
Note: The Faith Communities Today (FACT) 2020 national survey of congregations took place as the pandemic arrived in the United States. As such, some synagogues responded to the survey before restrictions on public worship and other pandemic-related measures were put into effect; others responded in full lockdown mode. The data in this report reflects both realities.