Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

[SCJ FAQ Logo]
< Sect. 1 TOC Q2.2 >

Question 2.1:
Who reads the soc.culture.jewish newsgroups?


Qualitatively? We have men and women who have outstanding Jewish educations, and who are willing to take the time to share their knowledge. We have serious non-observant Jews seeking deeper Jewish roots. We have Jews still trying to see exactly where they fit it, Jews who are struggling, and learning, and actively improving themselves. Some reply carefully and kindly; others use their wits like scalpels, cutting away at the first sign of nonsense. We have talented writers, whose prose is often poetic. Counted among us are Hassidic Jews, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and miscellaneous Jews. We've got atheists and secularists, Hebraists and Yiddishists. And we are all learning from one another and teaching one another.

Quantitatively? This is difficult to answer. When Usenet was smaller, surveys were done of the newsgroup to try to determine the denominational breakdown of the readership. This survey involved regular postings to the newsgroup, together with periodic mail sent to newsgroup participants. Nowadays, some of the approaches taken in conducting the survey (i.e., the sending of notes to newsgroup readers unsolicited) would be considered to be spam. So a survey hasn't been done recently. Note: If you are interested in conducting one, please contact the FAQ maintainer <>, and he will be glad to provide you with the scripts and ideas from the last survey.

What did the last survey say? First, note that it only applied to S.C.J, and was last conducted in 1995, well over 5 years ago. There were just under 332 respondants (or approximately 1% of the readership at that time). This survey showed the following breakdowns:

                                  1995     1993       1991       1989

    JC [Conservative        ]:   30.12%   22.06%     28.98%     37.12%

    JO [Orthodox            ]:   27.11%   31.62%     36.33%     29.55%

    JL [Liberal/Reform      ]:   13.86%   12.87%     10.20%     11.36%

    JS [Secular/Humanistic  ]:    5.72%    5.15%      3.67%      2.27%

    JR [Reconstructionist   ]:    5.42%    2.21%      1.63%      1.52%

    JU [Unspecified Jewish  ]:    4.22%    4.78%      2.86%      N/A

    JN [Non-Affiliated      ]:    3.01%    4.04%      2.45%      0.76%

    AA [Agnostic or Atheist ]:    3.01%    2.94%      0.82%      6.06%

    OT [Other               ]:    2.41%    3.68%      4.49%      0.76%

    JT [Traditional         ]:    1.51%    3.68%      N/A        N/A

    CF [Christian Fndmntlist]:    0.90%    1.47%      3.67%      N/A

    CM [Christian Mainstream]:    0.60%    0.74%      2.04%      N/A

    CC [Catholic            ]:    0.30%    1.84%      1.22%      N/A

    CO [Christian Other     ]:    0.30%    1.47%      1.22%      N/A

    HI [Hindu               ]:    0.00%    0.37%      N/A        N/A

Gross Breakdown:

    J [Jewish          ]:        91.87%   86.40%     86.12%     82.58%

    A [Atheist/Agnostic]:         3.01%    2.94%      0.82%      6.06%

    O [Other           ]:         2.41%    3.68%      4.49%      0.76%

    C [Christian       ]:         2.11%    5.51%      8.16%      N/A

    H [Hindu           ]:         0.00%    0.37%      N/A        N/A

It is interesting to contrast these numbers with the results mentioned in Question 2.21.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

[Prev Sect]
[Sect Index]
[Next ?]
[Prev Sect]
[Global Index]
[Next Sect]
  [Reading Lists]  

© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>