A recent study of four large American Jewish urban communities, by Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, published in the Journal of Religion and Health reports that “Adults who affiliate with a Jewish religious denomination and attend synagogue report significantly better health than secular or non-practicing Jews”, according to the author Jeff Levin, PhD. Affiliated Jews of every denomination – Orthodox, Conservative , Reconstructionist, and Reform all reported better health than non-affiliated Jews. And, Jews who attended synagogue at all, even infrequently, reported better health than those who never went.
Levin went on to say that these findings aren’t surprising. Social support has long been known to be correlated with better health. Having community is good for you.
So what makes shul goers healthier? It’s unclear. But we do know that attendance at religious services is clearly correlated with less drinking, smoking, and recreational drug use. Or possibly the influence of, or belief in a higher being, or a trust in the universe creates a placebo effect? We also know that volunteering is strongly associated with better health – so maybe that’s the key –helping others – visiting the sick, making shivah calls, blood drives, giving tzedakah, or making or delivering mitzvah meals.
So it turns out that being involved at CBT is good for your health. Please… join a committee, help at BINGO, come to Shabbat services, attend an Adult Ed program, participate in Sisterhood or Men’s Club.
Come on out and get involved – IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!!