Brainy American Jews are far less likely to be religious than their lesser-educated kin, according to a new study.
Findings from the respected Pew Research Center, published this week, show that the more schooling American Jews get, the less likely they are to be religious.
While approximately four in ten Jews who do not go to college say they are religious and that God is important to them, researchers found that only a quarter of college-educated Jews thought likewise.
The difference was at its most stark among non-Orthodox Jews. Whereas 45 percent of non-Orthodox Jews who had not received higher education believed in God, only 23 percent of further educated non-Orthodox Jews did so.
And while three in ten non-Orthodox Jews with no college education said religion was important to them, less than two in ten non-Orthodox Jews with a college education agreed.
Even among Orthodox Jews, the study found that education made a difference, with 93 percent of Orthodox Jews who had not attended college saying they believed in God, and only 82 percent of college-educated Orthodox Jews concurring.
The same correlation did not apply to Christians, for whom levels of education made no difference to their belief in God or the extent to which religion was important, while for some groups, such as Mormons, those with a higher education were actually more likely to believe in God.
In their report, Pew analysts wrote: “As with the religiously unaffiliated, highly educated Jews tend to be less religious than Jews with fewer years of schooling.”