Recently the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs released an interesting report on the Jewish Communities of the Western United States. Written by Dr. Steven Windmueller, director of the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, the piece goes into the history and demographics of West Coast Jewry.
Too often, in the scholarship of American Jewish life, the Eastern seaboard becomes the main and sometimes only subject of research. But as Windmueller reminds us in the opening of his report, a quarter of American Jews live on the West Coast and that numebr is growing:
Jews of the West represent a new breed of American Jewry. Despite such challenges as low affiliation patterns, high intermarriage rates, and limited financial participation, Western Jewry has generated new organizational models. The Western pioneering spirit seems to have made its mark on Jewish communities as well and inspired their leadership. (MORE)