Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version

Founded in 1971 as the Association for the Sociological Study of Jewry, the ASSJ is a professional association of over 200 members from the fields of anthropology, demography, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology, as well as sociology and other fields, who have an interest in the social scientific study of Jewry. Friedman (1986) noted that the formal founding of the association was preceded by a formative period, 1966-1970.  ASSJ has organized and cosponsored academic sessions at such professional associations as the American Sociological Association, Association for Jewish Studies, Association for the Sociology of Religion, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, among others, and bestows annually the Marshall Sklare Memorial Award, honoring a distinguished scholar of the social scientific study of Jewry. Winners of the Sklare award include Seymour Martin Lipset (1993), Daniel Elazar (1994), Celia Heller (1995), Samuel Klausner (1996), and Walter Zenner (1997). Prior to the Sklare Award, Sidney Goldstein received an award from the ASSJ in 1992.

Publications include a scholarly journal, currently published annually, Contemporary Jewry , which was initiated in 1974, first as a Newsletter in 1974-1975 (volume 1), then as a journal-newsletter (volume 2) in 1975-1976 (called Jewish Sociology and Social Research ), with volume 3 in 1976-1977 the first to bear the current name. A new series Newsletter , published semiannually, began in 1979.

Presidents include Mervin Verbit (1971-1973), Marshall Sklare (1973-1975), Samuel Klausner (1975-1977), Celia Heller (1977-1979), Chaim Waxman (1979-1981), Harold Himmelfarb (1981-1983), Egon Mayer (1983-1988), Rela Mintz Geffen (1988-1990), Arnold Dashefsky (1990-1996), and Allen Glicksman (1996-1998).

Arnold M. Dashefsky


N. L. Friedman, "Conception and Birth of the Association for the Sociological Study of Jewry," Ethnic Forum 6(1986):98-111.

return to Encyclopedia Table of Contents

Hartford Institute for Religion Research   hirr@hartsem.edu
Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105  860-509-9500