As the next step in looking at Jewish connectedness replacing affiliation and membership as a key to the Jewish future, I suggest connection to Judaism as a key component.
At one point, it was pretty safe to assume that the Jewish person who was actively practicing Judaism was also a dues-paying member of a synagogue and was likely donating to Jewish causes. That is no longer a safe assumption in all cases.
So, the markers of a person who is connected to Judaism looks like this:
- Participates in Jewish rituals, such as fasting on Yom Kippur, attending a Seder, reciting blessings, lighting Hanukah menora
- Uses Shabbat and Jewish holidays to mark time and to rest [however s/he defines it]
- Observes some level of Kashrut and/or Eco-Kashrut
- Participates in Jewish study
- Has a mezuzah on the door of his/her home
Increasingly the practice of mikva, long the domain of only the Orthodox [and even there, not universal], is entering the mainstreram as a feature.
There are certainly many more mitzvot out there, but these seem to be generally acknowledged markers.
Next edition: Connection to the Jewish historical experience