In Search of the B’nai Mitzvah Class of 1994 – 1995

“Forrest Gump” advert; 1995 Oscar winner Best Film.

By Dr. Jeffrey Kress

The year was 1995. Bill Clinton was President. Cutting edge technology consisted of the Sony Discman, Windows 95, the Power Mac, and AOL accounts. Full House went off the air (until its recent sequel!).

Why this nostalgic journey back 22 years? In 1995, 1,400 Jewish youth in Conservative synagogues participated in a research project conducted under the auspices of the Jewish Theological Seminary by Drs. Ariela Keysar and Barry Kosmin. The researchers contacted these teens again four years later, when most were graduating from high school, and then again 4 years after that.

We want to do something unprecedented in Jewish communal research – we want to follow-up with these respondents, now in their mid30s, to find out what has been going on in their lives since college. This cohort has already taught us so much and we hope that it will continue to do so.
You can help us. Here’s how:

  • If you had a bar or bat mitzvah in a Conservative synagogue in 1994-1995 you should have gotten an email about the survey. If you have not, please get in touch with Dr. Keysar ( to make sure your information is up to date. We want to hear your opinions …no matter what your life journey might be. No judgement. Completely confidential.
  • If you know someone who might fit this description, please forward this article to them.
  • If you are a Jewish communal leader, please help spread the work to this cohort and to their parents.

This unique learning opportunity will succeed if our participants continue to share a few minutes of their time … and if we can locate them with their current contact information.

A lot has happened in the past 22 years … we need your help to try to understand it!

For more information, contact Dr. Jeff Kress: