Religion & Beliefs

Are You An “Affiliated Jew?” What The Hell Does That Mean?

After the other day, when the boys chimed in on why men are so lazy and unmotivated, I got to wondering about whether Jewcy readers (who are obviously interested in Jewishy junk) are "affiliated Jews". "Affiliated Jews" is a term … Read More

By / January 31, 2007

After the other day, when the boys chimed in on why men are so lazy and unmotivated, I got to wondering about whether Jewcy readers (who are obviously interested in Jewishy junk) are "affiliated Jews".

"Affiliated Jews" is a term that the institutional world tosses around pretty often. Jewish institutions want to "serve" or "empower"them. "Affiliated" means many things, but usually it means that you give money, belong to a synagogue or JCC (or Hillel or whatev). If you are "affiliated" it is likely you are forced to do Israeli folkdancing in a cinderblock room at least once a year.

"Unaffiliated Jews" are people that the Jewish Institutions want to "catch" or "engage". They're Jews who may practice, read, think, and know other Jews (or not), but they aren't "joiners." They don't give much money to Jewish agencies.

Beyond these distinctions there's also "Jewish Leadership" which is a term that describes people who form committees, teach Hebrew school, sit on boards. In high school, we called them "nerds".

But of course not everyone fits a box. I'm both "unaffiliated" and also "leadership" because I worked for Hillel, speak at Jewish events, sit on boards, blah blah blah. But I don't belong to a synagogue.

It's all kind of weird.

I know people hate doing stuff like this but I'd really really appreciate it if you'd take a second and answer these few question. I want to know who you are. (though you should feel free to anonymize if you like)! That way, if I'm ever called up before the International Jewish Cabal, I can tell them what the "new Jews" are really all about.

  1. Are you male or female?
  2. Are you in your teens? Twenties? Thirties? Forties? Older?
  3. Do you belong to any official Jewish organizations?
  4. Do you go to services?
  5. Do you belong to a synagogue?
  6. Do you have many Jewish friends?
  7. Are you interested in Jewish culture/identity/ideas?
  8. What makes you feel most Jewish?
  9. What lunchtable do you sit at (in the high school cafeteria)? Are you a hipster? An intellectual? A stoner? A jock?

Pretty please… answer these quick questions so I can fit you neatly into a box… or at least tell me why you don't want to!