Jewish Demographics

GenZ Now: Understanding and Connecting With Jewish Teens Today

– by The Jewish Education Project and Rosov Consulting

March 24th, 2019

This study is animated by the vision that all Jewish teens in America will see their Jewish heritage as a source of wisdom, inspiration, and strength as they grow and discover their place in the world. Authored by The Jewish Education Project and Rosov Consulting, GenZ Now, Understanding and Connecting with Jewish Teens Today is the largest study of American Jewish teens ever conducted, with 17,576 teens participating. It deepens our understanding of the complexities of being a Jewish teen in the United States today.

Among the key headlines from the report:

  • Participation in Jewish youth movements, youth groups and other organizations – collectively referred to as youth-serving organizations, or YSOs – measurably contributes to teens connecting to being Jewish, and to feeling good about themselves, their relationships, and their ability to make change in the world.
  • Jewish teens get along with their parents and often reflect their Jewish values and practices.
  • For Jewish teens, being Jewish is often about family, holiday celebrations, and cultural practices.
  • Jewish teens share the troubles and concerns of other American adolescents, notably managing anxiety and depression, and coping with academic pressure.

Perhaps the most important message that communities and organizations can take away from this study is that youth-serving organizations are awesome. Teens who participate in a youth-serving organization (or at least the organizations studied in the report) score higher on almost every outcome measured by our researchers, including affinity toward Israel and behaving with the intention of making world a better place.

The findings of this report suggest an imperative to invest further in youth-serving organizations as a model for teen engagement, both to champion the invaluable work that YSOs are already doing, and to imagine new possibilities, including opportunities that appeal to teens who are underrepresented and not yet engaged.

GenZ Now: Understanding and Connecting With Jewish Teens Today, The Jewish Education Project and Rosov Consulting, March 2019