Bekerman, Zvi and Rosenfeld, Sue. “Measuring Jews in Motion.” Journal of Jewish Education 77.3 (2011): 196-215.
Jewish educators are expected not only to imbue their students with Jewish knowledge but with Jewish feelings and Jewish actions as well—in short, with Jewish identity. However, in spite of a growing understanding among researchers that identity is fluid and dynamic, many of the traditional methods for assessing Jewish identity reflect essentialist concepts of identity that assume Jews and their Jewishness remain unchanging across various contexts. Our intention in this article is to review briefly some of the ways in which traditional methods of studying Jewish identity reveal problematic conceptualizations, and to suggest an alternative that seems to us more in keeping with constructivist concepts of identity.