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3 Facts About How American Jews View the Torah

3 Facts About How American Jews View the Torah

Torah scrolls wrapped with pink fabric ties

In the lead-up to the Christian celebration of Easter, which took place on Sunday and overlapped with Passover, the Pew Research Center shared data about the way religious Americans view their holy texts. Here are highlights from the Jewish end of things:

  1. About a third of Americans (35%) say they read scripture at least once a week, while 45% seldom or never read scripture, according to 2014 data from Pew’s Religious Landscape Study – but 65% of Jews say they seldom or never read scripture.
  2. Three-quarters of Christians believe the Bible is the word of God, and 83% of Muslims believe the Quran is the word of God. By contrast, just 37% of Jews believe the Torah to be the word of God.
  3. Seven in 10 Americans – of all faiths – can identify Moses as the biblical figure who led the Exodus from Egypt, and 63% can identify Genesis as the first book of the Bible, according to Pew’s 2010 religious knowledge survey.

Want to know more about how religious Americans, including Christians and Muslims, view their holy texts? Check out Pew’s blog post on the topic.

And, by the way: If you’re among the 65% of Jewish Americans who “seldom or never” reads scripture, we can help with that. Visit our Torah Study page for the weekly parashiyot (Torah portions), modern commentaries, and more. It’s never too late to learn Torah!

Kate Bigam Kaput is the assistant director of messaging and branding for the Union for Reform Judaism and, in this role, serves as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. A prolific essayist and lifestyle blogger, Kate's writing has been featured in The Washington PostEsquire, Woman's Day, Cleveland Magazine, HeyAlma.com, Jewish Women Archive, and more. Kate, who grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, holds a degree in magazine journalism and lives in Cleveland, OH, with her husband.

Kate Bigam Kaput
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