Lilith staff

The New Questions

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A series of harassment allegations against prominent Jewish sociologist Steven M. Cohen, exposed in the Jewish Week last summer, sent the Jewish academic and institutional world reeling—not just because of the personal #MeToo stories that shocked, but because of the influence Cohen had wielded setting priorities for so many communities. He was the individual most closely connected with major Jewish demographic surveys done over the past 20 years or so—including the Pew study of “Jewish Americans” which was a hot topic in 2013. In particular, feminists have been challenging an agenda based on data from the questions asked in these massive surveys, especially their focus on intermarriage as a primary threat to “Jewish continuity.” What were the questions not being asked because of Cohen’s own biases, and those of some of his academic peers?

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