A first-of-its-kind study from Jewish Federations of North America has found that midlife adults (aged 55 - 74 years) in the Jewish community seek deeper opportunities for community engagement.
The study, which was conducted with the Benenson Strategy Group to explore gaps in engagement for midlife adults in communities across North America, found a void in meaningful engagement opportunities.
“We in the Jewish community invest significant attention on engaging younger adults, but this study has shown us that we may have been overlooking another important constituency,” said Jewish Federations of North America Chief Community and Jewish Life Officer Sarah Eisenman. “Midlife adults represent the largest demographic in the Jewish community, and this study shows that they are looking for contemporary and meaningful ways to connect Jewishly. We are very excited that Jewish Federations are leading the efforts to help fill that gap.”
Some notable findings from the research include:
- 50% of midlife Jewish adults say they are not being engaged with their Jewish community, and less than half feel a sense of belonging or fulfillment by their Jewish community.
- Over 70% of those not engaged with the Jewish community would like to seek deeper engagement with the Jewish community, beyond synagogue life and religious denominations.
- 54% are looking for more ways to meet other people at a similar life stage.
- Those who have more Jewish friends and are more engaged in Jewish life are more likely to feel excited about their next stage of life.
Based on these important findings, Jewish Federations have begun piloting engagement programs in partnership with local Federations aimed at adults aged 55 and up to nurture innovative programs that can be scaled across the Federation system. This is an opportunity to add meaning to “their best years ahead” and expand and reshape engagement in Jewish life for a very important pillar of our Jewish communities.
Eisenmen will present the research at the upcoming Active Aging National Convening in partnership with B3 The Jewish Boomer Platform; and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan/Wechsler Center for Modern Aging on June 14th.
This research was funded by The Sephardic Foundation on Aging.