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June 19, 1987 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-06-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

NEWS

sititli/U PAYING TOO MUCH FOR INSURANCE???
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04,14iPpgrINO

Study Finds 15 Percent
Of S.F. Jewry Is Gay

TOM TUGEND

Special to The Jewish News

T

here are a lot more
Jews in San Francisco
than has been esti-
mated, but few identify with
communal organizations,
many intermarry, and a high
proportion is gay.
Most of the area's 222,852
Jews strongly support Israel
but they are less clear about
their religious beliefs, accor-
ding to the most comprehen-
sive survey ever conducted of
Jews in the northern Califor-
nia region.
"San Francisco Jews have
quite a unique definition of
what Judaism is," noted
Jocelyn Goldberg, who led
the survey research team, in
a preliminary report.
In the category of 'religious
identity,' said Goldberg, "an
astonishing 30 percent de-
fined themselves as some-
thing other than Orthodox,
Conservative or Reform.
Some said they were 'just
Jewish.' Others described
themselves as Buddhist Jews,
mystic Jews, born-again
pagan Jews, and whole earth
Jews."
The area surveyed includes
seven counties bordering the
bay, including San Francisco,
Oakland and San Jose, the
university towns of Berkeley
and Palo Alto, the rich, rustic
suburbs of Marin County and
the high technology enclaves
of the Silicon Valley.
Previous estimates of the
area's Jewish population had
ranged from 125,000 to
180,000, well below the new
figure of nearly 223,000. They
are widely scattered, al-
though some ZIP code areas
in San Francisco, Berkeley
and Palo Alto are up to 20
percent Jewish.
Other facts and figures
cited by the study's director,
Gary Ibbin, and reported in
the Northern California
Jewish Bulletin, included:
*San Francisco proper has
slightly over 52,000 Jews, of
whom at least 15 percent, or
nearly 8,000, are gay. For the
Bay Area as a whole, nine per-
cent of the Jewish population
is gay or lesbian.
This data, said Tobin, is the
first in the United States that
"corroborates that there is a
gay Jewish population."
*For two out of five couples,
one of the partners is non-
Jewish, possibly the highest
intermarriage rate in the
country, according to 'Ibbin, a
Boston-based demographer
who has led similar projects

in Baltimore, Washington,
D.C. and St. Louis.
*In general, the Jewish
population is relatively
young, with a significant
number of both wealthy and
very poor families.
The two-year study was
commissioned by the Jewish
Community Federation of
San Francisco and those of
neighboring counties, and the
initial results show that they
have their work cut out in
reaching their natural con-
stituents.
For instance, more than 90
percent of the people sampled
said they were not familiar
with Jewish human service
agencies. These and similar
findings indicate that the
"organizational and institu-
tional Jewish network in the
Bay Area has to go to ex-
traordinary efforts to involve
Jewish people in communal
life," Tobin noted.
"If the Jews are reluctant
to join," he added, "it's not
because they don't care about
Judaism; it's that, as many
other studies in this region
show, they just don't want to
associate with any institu-
tion."
Results of the survey are
based on 59,000 phone calls
which yielded 2,400 com-
pleted interviews.

Barbie's Lawyer
Maneuvers For
His Freedom

Paris (JTA) — A legal
stratagem by which Klaus
Barbie's attorney hopes to get
the former Lyon Gestapo
chief released from prison
where or not he is convicted
of crimes against humanity
was disclosed last week. At-
torney Jacques Verges said he
would make a formal plea for
Barbie's release when the trial
resumes in Lyon.
Verges said that under
French criminal law a person
convicted more than once for
crimes committed during the
same period of time can serve
only the most severe of the
sentences imposed. Barbie
was convicted in absentia of
war crimes and sentenced to
death in 1952, a penalty he
evaded by finding haven in
Bolivia.
The 20-year statute of
limitations on war crimes
convictions expired 15 years
ago. Verges claims that since
capital punishment was abol-
ished in France in 1981, Bar-
bie now faces a maximum
penalty of life imprisonment.

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0 1986

JN

41

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