The question should not be which interpretations of the survey are correct. Instead, we should ask, given what we know about ourselves from the survey, how and where can Jewish experiences make the greatest possible contribution to the things all people seem to agree upon: creating happier, more meaningful, more purposeful lives; making some difference with the time we have on this earth; and leaving the world even the tiniest bit better for those we love.
Rather than fighting about what the Pew survey means in terms of our collective Jewish future, or whether we have one, let’s use what it tells us about the present needs and beliefs of actual Jews. It seems to me that the best way to secure the Jewish future is to respond well to the lived lives of present Jews — not who we wish they were, or wish they should be, but simply to who they are, as they are.
Brad Hirschfield, “Passover and Jewish Personhood”, The Jewish Week (4 April 2014), 28.