Finding a Jewish partner is of importance to about four of five Jewish singles, according to a study of nearly 4,000 users of the popular Jewish dating app JSwipe.
Similar responses were given when asked how important it was to marry someone Jewish, with 54% of respondents answering that their family would react negatively if they did not choose a Jewish spouse.
Of the survey takers, 83% said they would be willing to marry a convert to Judaism, with 17% responding negatively to that option.
“My family wants me to meet and marry a Jewish man,” said one participant. “I also want to keep family traditions alive from having family survive the Holocaust, and then there is also the factor of having a common culture to connect over!”
“Judaism is a priority in my life, and I would like to build my home based on those values with a partner who shares those values,” said another.
Of the respondents, 23% self-identified as culturally Jewish, 22% as traditional, 16% Reform, 16% Conservative, 11% Modern Orthodox, 6% Orthodox, 2% Zionist, 1% just Jewish and 2% other.
The age breakdown of survey takers included 26% of respondents between 18 and 24, 54% from 25 to 34, 18% were 35 to 54 and 2% were from 55 to 64. Sixty percent of survey participants live in the US. The questions asked for responses on a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 5 (the highest).
Chabad was selected as the Jewish organization most supported by participants, at 15%.
The survey found that some 87% of the participants said they practiced Judaism on some level. Passover was the holiday most celebrated, by 95% of the respondents, followed by Rosh Hashanah (92%) and Yom Kippur (90%).
A vast majority of the respondents (69%) said that they celebrate Shabbat, but only 11% indicated that this entailed observing Halacha (Jewish law). Over half the respondents do not observe kashrut at all. A large number of responders, 79%, declared a belief in G-d.
“I always go to synagogue on Jewish holidays, I don’t eat pork, I always say the Shema [prayer] before going to bed,” one participant said when asked what evidenced Jewish practice, for example.
Over 80% of the respondents chose four or five to indicate their view of Jewish identity as a personal value. The percentage of respondents who did so was above 70% across the spectrum of denominations, with the cultural Jews alone indicating it as a lesser ranking, which was just over 60%.
When asked which Jewish organizations they are or have been affiliated with, 41% responded that they are involved with Chabad. Only two organizations- Birthright Israel and Hillel- came out ahead, by a very small margin.
When asked about what being Jewish meant to them personally, over 20% selected these answers: identifying as a Jew; traditions/holidays; culture; family/heritage/roots; and community/people/friends.
“I was born into a life where there is a clear path for how to live my best life, and [was] given the structure of a community and loved ones who are able to take the journey along with me,” one participant said.
Only 2% chose the option “supporting the State of Israel” when asked what being Jewish meant personally, but when specifically asked to rate what importance Israel had for their Jewish identity, 67% chose 4 or 5. A high number of respondents, 88%, said that they had visited Israel at least once.
Overall, 70% of participants answered that they supported some Jewish organizations.
Synagogue affiliation revealed that 68% of respondents’ families and 41% of respondents have joined synagogues.
Asked how they feel when attending synagogue services, one participant said, “It depends on the synagogue. It goes from inspired and connected, to bored and alienated.”
“As we became more aware of how unusual it was to have Jews of all backgrounds sharing space, in our case within the app, we felt called to step further into our role of ‘open tent,’” founder David Yarus noted in the survey introduction.