Plaudits have greeted a new demographic study of the Jewish population in the United States released yesterday. Its major finding is a substantially larger number of American Jews than have been counted in recent years, as well as a larger average family size. The study revives the old question of “Who is a Jew,” because – according to Prof. Ketzel Tiergarten, who oversaw the study – the definition of a family includes its dogs and cats.
“A cat or a dog is an integral part of a family,” said Prof. Tiergarten, “and their omission has resulted in a serious undercounting of American Jews.” Rabbi Rupert Pupkin, chief theologian of the Alliance of Revisionist Theology Groups Radically Embracing Environment and Nature, confirmed that pets are halakhically supposed to rest on Shabbat and eat kosher.
Based on the new definition, the total American Jewish population is listed as over 7 million, with an average family size of 4.6 rather than 3.2. “These numbers show that our outreach efforts are producing results,” commented one Federation executive.