Religion, Ethnicity and Community
This paper is based on an ethnographic research carried out between 1995 and 1997. The researcher participated in this service every week and collected data through participant observation as well as informal interviews with the worshippers and the rabbi. Like other Jewish congregations across the country, the researched congregation is not only a religious institution but also functions as a community center in response to today's popular demands (Streiker and Tobin 1996:8). It offers recreational, educational, and social activities in addition to religious activities. Like other congregations across the country (Waxman 1983:88; Streiker and Tobin 1996:8), this congregation, therefore, shows a paradox; its membership is increasing but regular Sabbath attendance is not.