Dr. Melissa Deckman is a Professor of Political Science at Washington College and a PRRI Affiliated Scholar. Her research interests center on the intersection of religion, women, and politics. She has written in the past about the Christian Right’s participation in school board politics. Her most recent work is as co-editor and contributor to Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools. PRRI sat down with Dr. Deckman to discuss the significance of the book.
In the Jewish tradition, the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time for reflection, repentance and atonement. Most Jews consider these to be the most important to their faith, but PRRI data shows that age plays a role in determining which holidays Jews find personally significant.
A majority of older Jewish Americans (53%) say Yom Kippur is the most important Jewish holiday, compared to just more than one-third (37%) of younger Jewish Americans. In contrast, 2-in-10 younger Jewish Americans (20%) say Hanukkah is the most important Jewish holiday, more than three times the number of older Jewish Americans (6%). Age does not have the same affect on other holidays, with comparable percentages of older and younger Jewish Americans selecting Rosh Hashanah (9% vs. 11%), Passover (24% vs. 21%), and assorted other holidays (9% vs. 11%).