The Quiet Revolution: A Religious Revival in America

The most exciting part of the report, though, is the fact that there is ample evidence that this part of the American Jewish population is the only one which is really growing, and growing at a fairly rapid clip. As of mid-2013, there were approximately 530,000 Orthodox Jews in the United States. However, the average age of adults in that population is a full 12 years lower than in the non-Orthodox population; the Orthodox Jews nonetheless have a much higher marriage rate (69% in the Orthodox population vs. 49% in the secular population), and tend to have much larger families (an average of 4.1 children per household vs. 1.7 children per household in the non-Orthodox world).

But there is another source of growth besides natural increase: a full 30% of the people who identified themselves as Orthodox Jews said that they were not raised that way, and came to observance later in life. This is the effect which the many outreach efforts, both by individuals and by such organizations as Partners in Torah (with which I am affiliated), have had in the post-war period, and those efforts are ongoing.

The Christian religious denominations should take heart as much as Orthodox Jews at this news; it shows what might yet be done, if every American who cares about morality and religion would make a concerted effort amongst their own circles to spark the revival of a civil society rapidly growing moribund.