Sklare, Marshall

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SKLARE, MARSHALL (1921–1992), U.S. sociologist. Born in Chicago, Sklare received his M.A. from the University of Chicago (1948) and his Ph.D. from Columbia University (1953). Sklare was a study director in the Division of Scientific Research of the American Jewish Committee (1953–66), and from 1966 until 1970 he was professor of sociology at Yeshiva University.

Sklare directed numerous research projects under the auspices of the American Jewish Committee, chiefly using the techniques of survey research. From 1970 to 1990 he was professor of sociology at Brandeis University, where he founded the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, the first research center devoted to social scientific study of contemporary American Jewry. Sklare also served as president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (1973–75). In his memory, the association established the annual Marshall Sklare Award for outstanding scholarship in that field.

Sklare was a leading expert in the field of sociology of U.S. Jewry; his work is widely quoted, especially Conservative Judaism: An American Religious Movement (1955) and an edited volume, The Jews: Social Patterns of an American Group (1958). Riverton Study: How Jews Look at Themselves and Their Neighbors (1957, with M. Vosk) analyzes Jewish attitudes in a community setting; Jewish Identity on the Suburban Frontier: A Study of Group Survival in the Open Society (1967) is a study of the attitudes of suburban Jews toward themselves. He also wrote America's Jews (1971). Observing America's Jews (1993) is a collection of previously published essays, mostly from the 1970s. He edited The Jew in American Society (1974); The Jewish Community in America (1974); Understanding American Jewry (1982); and American Jews: A Reader (1996).

[Werner J. Cahnman /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]