Research Article Open Access

Jewish Identity and Volunteerism: Motivational Drivers in a Small North Carolina Temple

Renee Just1
  • 1 Vanderbilt University, United States


The purpose of this research was to examine Jewish identity and its impact on volunteerism and driving motivation in a small reform Temple in North Carolina. This study assessed the Jewish identity of members of the Temple and their motivation to volunteer within this congregation. Following from the research on identity and volunteerism, the primary focus was the extent to which the congregants embrace a Jewish identity and the level to which they perceive that volunteering at the synagogue is an expression of that identity. A mixed-methods design was crafted with the initial data collection obtained through a quantitative survey: The American Jewish Identity Scales (AJIS). Qualitative data were then collected through one audio-recorded, semi-structured focus group consisting of 7 volunteers. While the quantitative results showed that identity did not appear to be the driving factor for volunteering, the qualitative summary uncovered other identity-based motivations to volunteer. These motivations stemmed from one’s own family as well as the perception of the Temple as an extension of family.

Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 17 No. 1, 2021, 78-88


Submitted On: 11 March 2021 Published On: 23 April 2021

How to Cite: Just, R. (2021). Jewish Identity and Volunteerism: Motivational Drivers in a Small North Carolina Temple. Journal of Social Sciences, 17(1), 78-88.

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  • Identity
  • Motivation
  • Identity-Based Motivation
  • Volunteerism