Two new studies suggest that synagogue attendance is associated with better health and happiness for Israeli Jewish adults, as compared to their non-religious counterparts.
Baylor University researchers also found that individuals who regularly attended synagogue reported greater life satisfaction.
“These findings nicely reinforce the inherited Jewish folk wisdom that going to shul (synagogue) is ‘good for you,’” said Baylor University researcher Jeff Levin, Ph.D.
Commitment to Jewish religious belief and practice is strongly associated with greater physical and psychological well-being, Levin said.
As published in Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, one study reviewed 2010 data on 1,849 Jewish adults from the Israeli sample of the European Social Survey.
The other study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, used 2009-10 data on 991 Jewish adults from the Israeli sample of the International Social Survey Programâ€™s Religion III survey.
Researchers say the new results confirm findings from other studies of Jews in Israel and the U.S. conducted over the past few years.
Seven such studies have been published by Levin using data from a variety of national and global surveys.
All of the studies have identified facets of Jewish religious expression as among the most reliable predictors of measures of physical and mental health.
Source: Baylor University