Bay Area Jews shown as diverse, flexible — and more distant from institutions and Israel

Andrew and Amy Kleinerman, pictured here on a trip to Israel, are intermarried, like two-thirds of Bay Area Jewish couples ages 18 to 34. (Courtesy of Amy Kleinerman)

(JTA) — Andrew Kleinerman says he and his wife Amy share a “West Coast brand of Judaism.”

The Kleinermans live in San Francisco, attend services about once a month and have traveled to Israel. Andrew is Jewish, Amy is not. Amy, who is Chinese-American, is thinking about converting to Judaism. One of the congregations where they’ve felt most welcome is The Kitchen, a Jewish group that calls itself a “religious startup.”

Increasingly, families like the Kleinermans are the face of the Jewish community in the Bay Area, the fourth largest in the country. According to a major new study, a third of Bay Area Jews are between the ages of 18 to 34. The rate of interfaith marriage among the group is nearly two-thirds, and nearly 40 percent of these Northern California Jewish millennials live in a household with a person of color.

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