Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
January 2013
From Steven M. Cohen image


 Dear Friends,

For good reason, synagogues and their variants go by various names. Shuls, temples, congregations, shtiblach, kehillot, havurot,  and minyanim (independent or otherwise) are just some of the contemporary North American names for this diverse collection of institutions.


Synagogues--however they are denoted--perform numerous important functions. A synagogue is a place for community (hence, the term, Beit Knesset--house of gathering); it is a place for prayer (Beit Tefillah); and it is a place for sacred learning (Beit Midrash).


About 40% of US Jewish households belong to synagogues; such households are home to most American Jews. Synagogue-affiliated Jews are, as a group, far more active in almost all forms of Jewish life than non-members. At the same time, many Jews who take being Jewish seriously--secular and otherwise--have little if no connection with synagogues.


With all the complexity associated with them, synagogues are indeed a vital institution in Jewish life in contemporary America, one which bears watching and studying.


This month, at the beginning of the 100th year since Solomon Schechter founded the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, our Reader's Guide offers a portal into the world of the synagogue, providing a selection of representative readings on synagogues drawn from BJPA's collection of more than 15,000 articles and documents dating back to 1900.


Click here to download* the entire Guide, including over 100 publications.


Best wishes,Steven M. Cohen



Prof. Steven M. Cohen

Director, Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner 



*Having trouble downloading the Guide from this email? Go to and click "Download publication."  

New on BJPA: Ma'yan "Journey" image 
BJPA now hosts the entire run (1997-2004) of Journey, a journal published by Ma'yan, focusing on
transforming the Jewish community into one that is fully inclusive of and responsive to Jewish women. Click here to explore the journal.

Now at 15,600+ publications, and growing

Some of our latest additions:


Sh'ma January 2013: Works in Progress

Despite Dissatisfaction, U.S. Jews Won't be Abandoning Israel That Soon. Brent Sasley, 972, Jan 2013

2011 Census Results (England and Wales): Initial Insights About the UK Jewish Population.
David GrahamJonathan BoydDaniel Vulkan, JPR, Dec 2012

What It Means To Be "Pro-Israel".
Brent Sasley, The Daily Beast, Dec 2012

Salary Survey: Salaries of American Jewish Leaders.
Forward, Dec 2012

The Myth of American Meritocracy.
Ron Unz, The American Conservative, Dec 2012

Hundreds of newly acquired publications by Leonard "Leibel" Fein

Hundreds of newly acquired articles from Response: A Contemporary Jewish Review

Click here to browse our latest additions. 

JDBNew at North American Jewish Databank

A Tale of Four Cities 2012

Pocket Demographics 2012

 East Bay CA 2011

Jewish Map of the United States

The Jewish Vote 2012

Compendium of Comparisons

The Influence of Community Context and Individual Characteristics on Jewish Identity: A 21-Community Study

Jewish Population in the United States, 2011

World Jewish Population, 2010

2012 Jewish Values Survey  

Top 20 Downloads of 2012

1.Rupture and Reconstruction: The Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy (Soloveitchik)

2.The Limmud International Study: Jewish Learning Communities on a  Global Scale (Cohen, Kopelowitz)


 3.Profiling the Professionals: Who's Serving Our Communities? (Cohen)


 4. Beyond Distancing: Young Adult American Jews and Their Alienation from Israel (Cohen, Kelman) 


5.Camp Works: The Long-Term Impact of Jewish Overnight Camp (Cohen, Miller, Sheskin, Torr)  


6.Jewish Population in the United States, 2011 (Sheskin, Dashefsky)


7.Generation of Change: How Leaders in their Twenties and Thirties are Reshaping American Jewish Life (Wertheimer)


Moving Beyond the Limited Reach of Current "Social Media" Approaches: Why Jewish Digital Communities Require Rich and Remixable Narrative Content (Gottlieb)


9.Language Syncretism and the Hybridization of Religious Jewish Identity in Postmodern America (Nove)


10. Matrilineal Ascent/Patrilineal Descent: The Gender Imbalance in American Jewish Life (Fishman, Parmer)  


11.Modern Orthodoxy and the Challenges to Its Establishment: An interview with Marc B. Shapiro (Gerstenfeld, Shapiro)  


12. The Jewish Demography of Florida (Sheskin)


13. Workmen's Circle / Arbeter Ring 2012 American Jews' Political Values Survey (Cohen, Abrams)  


14.Defining Israel Education (Horowitz)


15. Building a Base of Reform Jewish Leadership: An Impact Study of Three Youth Programs (Pohl)   


16. Three Questions: Orthodoxy's Power, and After (Mirsky)


17. Demography of the Contemporary Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora (Tolts) 


18. Sh'ma January 2012: The Jewish Electorate 2012--Complete Issue  


19. Creating an Open Orthodox Rabbinate (Linzer, Weiss)  


20. The Future of Reform Jewry: An interview with Rabbi David Ellenson (Ellenson, Gerstenfeld)  

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BJPA is funded by the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation and the Charles H. Revson Foundation.