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Mervin F. Verbit
Born (1936-11-24) November 24, 1936 (age 81)
"Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, "U.S.
Alma mater
Scientific career
Fields "Sociology, "sociology of religion
Institutions "Brooklyn College, "Touro College

Mervin Feldman Verbit (born November 24, 1936) is an American "sociologist whose work focuses on "sociology of religion, "American Jews and the American Jewish "Community. He is currently the chair of the Sociology Department at "Touro College.


Academic Background[edit]

Verbit was born in Philadelphia in 1936.[1] He graduated from the "University of Pennsylvania where he received his B.A. and M.A.. Verbit received his Ph.D. from "Columbia University.[2][3] His dissertation studied the religious attitudes of Jewish college students.[4] Verbit was a full-time "Professor of "Sociology at "Brooklyn College[5][6] and has been "visiting professor at several institutions, among them "Bar Ilan University, "Hebrew University, "Tel Aviv University, "Yeshiva University, and "Jewish Theological Seminary.[7][8] Verbit was appointed "deputy chair of "Touro College's Sociology Department in 2006,[9] and was later appointed as the "department chair.

Measures of Religiosity[edit]

Verbit was among the "sociologists of religion to explore the theoretical analysis of the sociological dimensions of "religiosity. His contribution includes measuring religiosity through six different "components" (similar to "Charles Glock's five-dimensional approach (Glock, 1972: 39)[10]), and the individual’s behaviour vis-à-vis each one of these components has a number of "dimensions", making it a twenty four-dimensional measure of religiosity.[11][12][13]

The Twenty Four-Dimensional Religiosity Measure[edit]

Verbit's six components of religiosity are:

Verbit's four dimensions for measuring the above six components are:

Verbit theorized that each of the six components could be measured along the four dimensions (e.g. ritual is measured by ritual content, ritual frequency, ritual intensity, ritual centrality).

Involvement in Jewish Academic Organizations[edit]

Mervin Verbit served as the first "president of the "Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ), a "cross-disciplinary "organization of individuals whose research concerns the "Jewish people throughout the world.[14] He was president of the "ASSJ from 1971 to 1973.[15][16]

Verbit is currently a fellow at the "Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a Jerusalem-based institute for Jewish policy research.[17]

Verbit served on Technical Advisory Committee for the "National Jewish Population Study (NJPS) 2000-2001 national survey of American Jews.[18]

Verbit has organized two academic conferences for university faculty to familiarize themselves with topics relating to Israel.[19]

Sociological Research of Soviet Jewry[edit]

In 1976, "Benjamin Fain initiated a sociological study on Soviet Jewry. After emigrating to "Israel in 1977, Fain and Verbit published the study on the "Jewish identity of Soviet Jews. The study was published in 1984, through the "Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.[20] The report recounts the extraordinary faithfulness of "Soviet Jews to the surviving remnants of Judaism under the rule of the "Soviet Union.[21]

Study Findings[edit]

The study used data gathered from a 1976 survey organized by Fain. The respondents were some 1,200 Soviet Jews who had not taken any steps to try to leave the country. Fifty three percent of the respondents reported to respect religion though they did not believe, compared with thirty five percent who entertained various negative positions on religion. Eleven percent had more positive attitudes towards religion.[22]


Verbit's daughter, Shira Richman, is a behavior therapy consultant, and the author of two books on autism in children; Raising a Child with Autism and Encouraging Appropriate Behavior for Children on the Autism Spectrum.[23]



  1. ^ Who's Who in American Jewry". The University of Michigan. 1980.
  2. ^ "Mervin Verbit, Ph.D." Lander College for Women. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mervin F. Verbit". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Verbit, M. F. (1968). Referents for religion among Jewish college students (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University.).
  5. ^ "Brooklyn College The Strategic Plan 2005 – 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Planning Council and Its Subcommittees". Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Dr. Mervin Verbit Brooklyn, New York Professor of Sociology, Brooklyn College". edah.org. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Touro College Appoints Over 20 Undergraduate Full Time Faculty for 2006-07 Academic Year". touro.edu. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "TOURO COLLEGE APPOINTS OVER 20 UNDERGRADUATE FULL TIME FACULTY FOR 2006-07 ACADEMIC YEAR". "Touro College. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Glock, C. Y. (1972) ‘On the Study of Religious Commitment’ in J. E. Faulkner (ed.) Religion’s Influence in Contemporary Society, Readings in the Sociology of Religion, Ohio: Charles E. Merril: 38-56.
  11. ^ Verbit, M. F. (1970). The components and dimensions of religious behavior: Toward a reconceptualization of religiosity. American mosaic, 24, 39.
  12. ^ Küçükcan, T. (2010). Multidimensional Approach to Religion: a way of looking at religious phenomena. Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, 4(10), 60-70.
  14. ^ See Porter, J. N. (1974). Politics and the ASSJ. Jewish Sociology & Social Research, 1(1), 5-5.
  15. ^ "ASSOCIATION FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF JEWRY (ASSJ)". Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Swatos, W. H., & Kivisto, P. (1998). Encyclopedia of religion and society. AltaMira Press.
  17. ^ "JCPA - Our Key People". JCPA. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "NJPS: National Technical Advisory Committee Biographies". "Jewish Federations of North America. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Gerstenfeld, M. (2005). American Jewry's Challenge: Conversations Confronting the Twenty-first Century. Rowman & Littlefield Pub Incorporated. p. 17.
  20. ^ Fain, B., & Verbit, M. F. (1984). Jewishness in the Soviet Union: Report of an Empirical Survey. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
  21. ^ Fackenheim, E. L. (1999). What is Judaism?: An interpretation for the present age. Syracuse University Press. p. 295
  22. ^ Gitelman, Z. Y., Glants, M., & Goldman, M. I. (2003). Jewish Life after the USSR. Indiana University Press. p. 26 n15.
  23. ^ Richman, S. (2006). Encouraging Appropriate Behavior for Children on the Autism Spectrum: Frequently Asked Questions. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. pp. 5-6.

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