Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lewis Z. Schlosser & Daniel C. Rosen
American Jews are a diverse group of people, with varying cultural and ethnic self-identification, degrees of religious adherence, and observances of Jewish holidays and customs. Despite the myriad ways in which one can be a Jew, however, there remains a common history, ethnocultural heritage, and, for many, a religious practice that unites this unique group. This entry introduces contemporary issues salient to understanding American Jews, including (a) the diversity of Jewish heritage and denominations, (b) Jewish identity, (c) psychological Stressors for Jews, and (d) counseling issues with American Jewish clients. Recent estimates of the number of American Jews range between 5 and 6 million, representing a substantial proportion of the estimated 12 to 17 million Jews worldwide. However, given the U.S. population has been estimated at nearly 300 million, Jews are clearly a numerical minority. Because more than one third of American Jews live in large urban centers concentrated in ...