1995: Jewish Community Study of the Jewish Population in Erie County, NY

Sponsor(s): Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies, Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo

Principal Investigator(s): Gerald Martin Goldhaber

Study Dates: May 31- August 3, 1995

Population Estimates:

Report estimates approximately 26,400 Jewish persons reside in 11,500 Jewish households in the Eire County area (which includes Buffalo, NY).

The total number of people living in these households was 31,600, including between 5,100 and 5,200 non-Jews.

Key Findings:

The Jewish population of Eire County (26,400 Jews) represents approximately 2.7% of all people living in Eire County; Jewish households represent approximately 3% of all Eire County general households.

Executive Summary on pages 3-7 of the Report provides basic overview of the Jewish community of Eire County.

Please see note below on Jewish population estimate revisions and the Jewish DataBank


Adult Jewish Households in the Erie County, New York Area

Sample Size: 1065

Sample Notes:

Data were gathered from a total of 1,065 interviews from households with one or more self-defined Jews in the Erie County area.

The sampling procedure used two frames: random digit dialing (RDD) (582 respondents) and Jewish organizational lists (483 respondents).

The RDD-based interviews were conducted with 582 "self-described" Jews (born, raised or converted to Judaism), who had been contacted "...for the most part, using random telephone dialing techniques throughout Erie County."


  • The report states that most of the results of this study were generalized from this randomly selected sample (with a sampling error of +/- 4%).

The list frame used randomly selected respondents from three lists: synagogue members (288 respondents), non-synagogue members who had recently contributed to the Federation campaign (109 respondents), and people who did not belong to a congregation and had not contributed to the Federation campaign (86 respondents).


  • The major goal of the List-based samples was to provide detailed information about temple members.

Data file not available; data from the two sampling frames do not appear to have been combined and weighted for the Study.

Study Notes:

Population estimates above have been rounded by the North American Jewish Data Bank. Original report provides precise estimates listed below, which given the reality that the study is a survey with probably sampling error - and not a census - tend to imply more precision in Jewish population estimates than is possible.


  • Published report estimates 26,419 Jews living in 11,520 households (total number of all people in the households was 31,564).

    Please note that the Data Bank, following a long series of contacts between the Federation and Dr. Ira Sheskin, estimates the number of Jewish persons in Buffalo to be 13,000 - - in its Current Jewish Population Reports series: Jewish Population in the United States: 2011 (as well as in 2010 and in the forthcoming 2012 edition) - - and not the 26,000 estimate in the 1995 Study Report, which was not unanimously accepted as accurate after its release.

  • Also note that a 2013 Study of the Buffalo area (western New York) estimated just over 12,000 Jews in the area.

Language: English


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