Reform and Conservative Congregations: Different Strengths, Different Challenges

U.S. Jewish congregational life is showing signs of stagnation, with few young adults, many older members and more than adequate sanctuary space, according to a new survey of Jewish congregational life. The survey, which included responses from leaders in 1,215 synagogues, offers the most comprehensive view of Reform and Conservative movement congregations to date. Conducted by sociologist Steven M. Cohen for the Synagogue Studies Institute of Synagogue 3000, the survey is part of the larger Faith Communities Today (FACT), a national data set of American religious congregations.

Synagogue 3000 is the Jewish research voice in the Cooperative Congregations Studies Partnership, which conducts the semiannual Faith Communities Today (FACT) study, the largest survey of American congregations.In the 2010 FACT survey, S3K did its own oversample of American synagogues. While much has been said about synagogue shrinkage, until now these statements were anecdotal.

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