What the Coronavirus Has Shown—and Concealed—about the Long-Term Health of America's Many Synagogues

No one should confuse the short-term impact of the pandemic with the decades-long erosion of Jewish religious participation.

Student cantor Kalix Jacobson, wearing traditional white cantorial attire, rehearses for the High Holidays services at Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights on September 17, 2020 in New York City. Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images.

Student cantor Kalix Jacobson, wearing traditional white cantorial attire, rehearses for the High Holidays services at Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights on September 17, 2020 in New York City. Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images.

Response
April 1 2021
About the author

Jack Wertheimer is professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary. His latest book, The New American Judaism: How Jews Practice their Religion Today, has been issued recently as a paperback.

My thanks to Andrew T. Walker, Eli Steinberg, and Josh Beraha for joining the conversation about synagogue life during and after the pandemic. Each in his own way has broadened and enriched the discussion.

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