I Was Curious: Here’s Who’s Reading

Image: Woman reading from her computer screen with cup in hand. (Shutterstock photo ID: 377318731. All rights reserved.)

Wow! I am so grateful for all the responses I received to the post I’m Curious: Who is Reading? To date, there have been 51 respondents, far more than I dared to hope when I posted the survey.

I’ve learned a lot, and it will definitely help me in keeping this blog fresh and interesting for you. Here is the raw data:

  1. How do you identify?
    1. 29 identified as “Jewish”
    2. 14 identified as “Not Jewish”
    3. 1 identified as “both”
    4. 3 identified as having “Jewish heritage,” 1 as having discovered Crypto-Jews in the family tree.
    5. A number of you converted to Judaism and mentioned it.
  2. How much Jewish education have you had?
    1. 10 said “None.”
    2. None said, “Some, but don’t remember much.”
    3. 11 went to Religious School.
    4. 2 went to a Jewish Day School or something like it.
    5. 20 reported doing most of their learning as adults.
    6. 2 have degrees in Jewish studies.
    7. And two of you are Jewish professionals.
  3. Movements, etc.:
    1. 17 Reform
    2. 1 Renewal
    3. 3 Modern Orthodox or similar
    4. 2 Reconstructionists
    5. 5 Conservative
    6. 2 “Just Jewish” or similar
    7. 7 “Just Curious”
    8. 4 identified as Episcopalians
    9. 1 identified as Mormon
    10. 5 identified as Multi- or Post-denominational

If the numbers don’t seem to add up quite right, it’s because some readers reported falling into more than one category. That’s fine with me.

I was aware that this blog had two groups of clients. The first, for whom I originally designed it, are people seeking very simple, accessible information about Jewish topics. Most of those people access the blog via search engines, at the rate of about 600 “hits” a day. I’m glad to serve them with answers about what to wear to Jewish funerals, and Bar/Bat Mitzvah etiquette.

Regular readers, those of you who replied to the survey, were quite a surprise. Many of you have made a serious project of studying Judaism as adults. You are sophisticated learners and bring your own insights to the material. However, you aren’t a homogenous group – there’s a nice leavening of beginners, too.

My takeaway from this is that I should not be shy about offering studies on short Jewish texts and other more challenging material. That’s good, because I have covered as many beginner topics as I can think of (which is why I love questions so much – I can remember being a beginner, but I’ve forgotten some things, too.)

Thank you all for participating in the survey! You add to my learning, and for that I am very grateful!

Published by


Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at http://coffeeshoprabbi.com/ and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

2 thoughts on “I Was Curious: Here’s Who’s Reading”

  1. This was quite enlightening and I’m interested in learning about the “short Jewish texts” you may write about.

    Right now I will be focusing on learning Hebrew and supporting my wife as she begins her conversion process.

Leave a Reply