this web page is an archived version of the page that originally appeared on the synagogue 3000 web site

2007 Spiritual Communities Survey

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.

We knew very little about the thousands of people associated with these new endeavors. Who are they? What are their concerns? How do they feel about the communities they're creating, joining, and building? Why do they participate?

To answer these questions, the S3K Synagogue Studies Institute, in collaboration with Mechon Hadar,  conducted a survey designed by the prominent sociologist Steven M. Cohen in partnership with Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and Shawn Landres. Our goal was to find out more about the participants, members, partners, and "acquaintances" of these new spiritual communities. The results of this work is the first ever portrait of the interests, values, and concerns of a critical innovative turn in American Judaism.

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Download the Report

Preliminary Findings from the 2007 National Spiritual Communities Study


Appendix A:
The Survey Instrument
Appendix B:
A Sampler of websites
Appendix C:
Communities and bloggers who promoted the survey


Discuss the findings on Mechon Hadar's dicussion board.
Bloggers react
What Defines the New Minyan Movement?
at Jspot by Jeremy Burton
Judaism without Synagogues
at JewsByChoice.Org by David Gottlieb
Facts on the Ground
Cold Hard Facts
at On the FAR Side by David Singer
The Continuity “Questions”
at Thinking Jewish (Brooklyn Jews blog) by Rabbi Andy Bachman
kiruv: can Orthodoxy prove itself meaningful?
at Divrei Chaim by Chaim B.
Jews Are So Edgy and Religious
at Faithhacker / Jewcy by Tamar Fox
Letter to Aaron re: Reform, & tolerance of others observance.
at Yiducation by David Kopp
The Future of the Jewish People – Could It Be Unity?
at The Litith Blog by Rebecca Honig Freidman
The Minyan without a Binyan
at Temple Board Authority by BoredofDirectors