Dr. Phillips is Professor of Sociology & Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR's Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. He has been among the leading researchers in the sociology of American Jewry for over three decades. He served on the National Technical Advisory Committees for the 1990 and 2000 National Jewish Population Surveys and advised the recent Pew study. He has conducted local Jewish population surveys in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Houston.
His published work covers a wide variety of topics from Iranians and Israelis in the United States to Jewish suburbanization, Jewish education, the economics of Jewish life, and the Jews of Los Angeles. His current research projects include the impact of migration and community size on the Jewish affiliations of new migrants, multi-racial studies as a lens for understanding Jews of mixed parentage, applying the work of economists to understanding intermarriage, and a historical study of race and place in Los Angeles, 1920-1930.
In addition to his position at HUC-JIR, he is Senior Research Fellow at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture where he is conducting research on religion in California. He is a board member of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and a member of the editorial board of Contemporary Jewry.
"Israelis in the United States" in David Singer and Ruth Seldin (eds.) American Jewish Year Book, 1996
“Children of Intermarriage: How 'Jewish'?” Coping with Life and Death: Jewish Families in the Twentieth Century. P. 1998 Medding.(ed). New York, Oxford University Press.
“The Challenge of Family, Identity, and Affiliations. In A. Kahn (Ed.), California Jews (pp. 17-28). Waltham MA: Brandeis University Press. 2003
“Assimilation, Transformation, and the Long Range Impact of Intermarriage.” Contemporary Jewry. Vol. 25 pp 50-74. 2005
“ Faultlines: The Seven Socio-Ecologies of Jewish Los Angeles.” The Jewish Role in American Life: An Annual Review, Vol. 5.B. Zuckerman and J. Schoenberg (eds), Purdue University Press. 2007
“Demographic Perspectives on Jewish Education.” In P. Flexner (ed.) What We Know Now About Jewish Education. Los Angeles. Torah Aura Press. 2009
"Accounting for Jewish Secularism: Is a New Cultural Identity Emerging?” Contemporary Jewry 30(1): 63-85. 2010
“New demographic perspectives on studying intermarriage in the United States.” Contemporary Jewry 33:1-2, April-July 2013.
“The geography of Jewish intermarriage in five U. S. urban areas” in Stanley K. Brunn (ed) The Changing World Religion Map: Sacred Places, Identities, Practices and Politics New York. Springer. forthcoming