S3K Reports

S3K Reports are periodic publications of the S3K Synagogue Studies Institute on topics in Jewish congregational studies. S3K Reports synthesize key findings from recent research, offer new analyses of contemporary issues, and give useful insight into synagogue life. An ad hoc editorial committee of clergy and other congregational leaders working in the field.

We encourage clergy, educators, researchers, and communal leaders to use S3K Reports as they implement their own creative strategies for building vital and compelling congregations for the future of the Jewish people.

The views expressed in S3K Reports do not necessarily represent those of Synagogue 3000 or the S3K Synagogue Studies Advisory Board. Responsibility for the research and findings in Institute publications rests solely with their author(s).

And now the rest of the story…

Synagogue 3000’s Synagogue Studies Institute in collaboration with the Berman Jewish Policy Archive and North American Jewish Data Bank is proud to release the report, Conservative & Reform Congregations in the United States: The FACT-Synagogue 3000 Survey, 2010

Many have already seen Reform and Conservative Congregations: Different Strengths, Different Challenges. This is the full survey data that informed the first report.

Download PDF

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.

Download PDF

Different Growth for Different Folks: The ND Pilot Sites In Action

Between the fall of 2009 and the summer of 2010, Synagogue 3000’s Next Dor initiative inaugurated four experiments in engaging congregationally unaffiliated adults Jews in their 20s and 30s. They were set in widely scattered locations across the United States (Washington, DC; St. Louis; Marin County, CA; and Miami Beach). All four adhered to the Next Dor philosophy of providing relational engagement rather than just a series of unrelated programs; but they differed significantly from one another. This report briefly follows each one’s trajectory. It analyzes the demographic characteristics of each site’s appeal, demonstrates significant Jewish growth in all four instances, and urges an expansion of the relational approach as a successful means of long-term engagement

Download PDF

nitareport“doing jewish stuff” – an experiment called NITA

Nita (Hebrew for, “We will plant, we will grow”) is an experiment in “doing Jewish” differently. As one of Synagogue 3000’s Next Dor pilots, Nita has spent the last year plus creating a new model of community led by Rabbi Noa Kusher who describes her rabbinate as “… one part sales, one part emunah (faith), and one part chutzpah – a stubborn refusal to give up on my generation of Jews.”

Download PDF

divorce report

Rekindling Tradition as Life Partnership Ends
It is somewhat surprising that sociologists have paid so little attention to how people experience divorce in congregations. Studies that do address the relationship between religion and divorce are largely quantitative, analyzing large samples and concerned with causal relationships. Do synagogues know how to handle end of relationship issues? Kathleen E. Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the College of William and Mary has some surprising answers.

Download PDF

Spirituality at B’nai Jeshurun: Reflections of Two Scholars and Three Rabbis
This S3K Report is actually three fascinating pieces. “Spirituality at B’nai Jeshurun: Reflections of Two Scholars and Three Rabbis,” “The New Jewish Spirituality and Prayer: Take BJ, For Instance,” and “Take BJ from its Rabbis’ Point of View.” These three pieces, compiled into one report, are an interesting, scholarly look into the world of the synagogue paradigm.

Download PDF

Bringing Conversations About Israel Into the Life of American Congregations
Authors Alex Sinclair and Esti Moskovitz-Kalman discuss the new conversation needed in American synagogues regarding Israel. “Israel engagement” has meant lending political and philanthropic support to the beleaguered Jewish State. Today it must in addition mean something different, something more personal.

Download PDF

How Spiritual Are America’s Jews?
Narrowing the Spirituality Gap Between Jews and Other Americans

The first-ever comparative national study of spirituality among American Jews and Christians demonstrates that young Jews are more spiritually inclined on every available measure than their elders. The historic large gap in spiritual orientation between Jews and others is narrowing, especially among younger adults, those 35 and under.

PDF Download PDF

Preliminary Findings 2007 National Spiritual Communities Study
Over the past few years, we have seen an important new phenomenon in Jewish life: the creation of dozens of independent minyanim, spiritual communities, alternative worship services, and emergent congregations. This rich array adds diverse opportunities for worship, learning, social justice work, community-building and spiritual expression. More information can be found at http://jewishemergent.org/survey
PDF Download PDF
Synagogues and Social Justice
Creating Sustainable Change Within and Beyond the Congregation

Fall 2007
How do synagogues make change? Change in ourselves, our families, our congregations, our communities, our world? In May 2007, the S3K Synagogue Studies Institute and Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) convened a consultation on synagogue engagement with social justice …

PDF Download PDF
Synagogues That Get It
How Jewish Congregations are Engaging Young Adults

Spring 2007
Synagogue 3000 is proud to introduce the S3K Synagogue Studies S3K Report – Synagogues That Get It: How Jewish Congregations are Engaging Young Adults Institute with its first publication, an S3K Report authored by Tobin Belzer and Donald E. Miller examining synagogue membership in the United States.

PDF Download PDF
Members and Motives
Who Joins American Jewish Congregations and Why

Fall 2006
Synagogue 3000 is proud to introduce the S3K Synagogue Studies Institute with its first publication, an S3K Report authored by Steven M. Cohen examining synagogue membership in the United States.PDF Download PDF