It is somewhat surprising that researchers have paid so little attention to how people experience divorce in congregations. Studies that do address the relationship between religion and divorce are largely quantitative, measuring divorce numbers. Rarely do these reports consider the personal impact and how (or if) communities support those affected by divorce. Do synagogues know how to handle end of relationship issues?
From 2005 to 2009, author Kathleen E. Jenkins conducted sixty interviews with divorced individuals (eleven Jewish) active in a variety of religious communities. Jenkins interviewed forty clergy (twelve rabbis) and lay leaders. Three of the rabbis had been divorced.
Jenkins includes anecdotes from her interviews that may surprise many in the synagogue community while not surprise others at all. The report concludes with some simple, practical suggestions for synagogues to better serve this distinct community.
Download the full report http://synagogue3000.org/files/S3KDivorceReport.pdf