The MetroWest 1998 Jewish Population Study

Sponsor(s): Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, United Jewish Communities of MetroWest, New Jersey

Principal Investigator(s): Michael Rappeport

Study Dates: Interviewing conducted between March 17 and June 10, 1998.

Population Estimates:

According to the 1998 Report, 117,100 people live in approximately 47,000 Jewish households in the MetroWest area of New Jersey.  The number of Jewish persons reported in Data Bank summary tables (such as the FAQ series) for 1998 is 96,000, based on a joint analysis by Ira Sheskin and Ron Miller for the DataBank.

The updates for 2008 and then 2012 do not use the same RDD-based methodology for their population estimates; they are based on DJN counts from available sources, without any interviewing being conducted.  The 2008 DJN-based update estimate was 91,000 Jewish persons; the 2012 estimate was 90,000 for the 1998 study area.

Key Findings:

Data from the 1998 Jewish Community Study of MetroWest are summarized in the only three documents that are available from the 1998 study and from the Federation's website.

  • The Data Bank "Summary Report" from the 1998 study is marked "Circulation Draft," but it is the only report produced from the survey.

    •  It summarizes the basic information about the MetroWest community, albeit in  draft format.

  • The Data Bank has also made available below a PDF version of information about the study that is currently published on the website of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest, New Jersey ("Sample Findings Document").

  • Finally, "Supplemental Tables" available below include some data sent by Dr. Rappeport to Dr. Ira Sheskin by fax. While the copy has hand-written comments on some of the tables, the information contained in the Supplemental Tables is deemed to be of sufficient interest to be included in the report section.

  • A substantial portion of the investigation was devoted to the health status of the community including incidence of chronic or life threatening diseases, developmental disabilities, treatment sources, caregiver issues, and assisted living expectations.

There are two updates to the 1998 study which relied solely on counts of DJNs (distinctive Jewish names) by Ira Sheskin - without any interviewing occurring.  These updates and reports from 2008 and 2012 are also available in the downloadable file section.


Jewish households in the MetroWest, NJ service area: including Essex County, Morris County, Sussex County and part of Union County.

Sample Size: 1,446 interviews in 1998.

Sample Notes:

1998 data were collected using disproportionate, stratified random sampling. Areas known to have significant concentrations of Jews received a larger number of calls. The data were statistically weighted to compensate for any such disproportionate sample, so that results were projected to the entire MetroWest area.

Stratification was based on counts of the number of people with distinctive "Jewish names" (DJNs) in each telephone central office (3 digit telephone prefix) in the geographic area covered by MetroWest. Estimates of Jewish incidence from the DJN analysis were used to establish four sampling strata (ranging from highest to lowest incidence).

The entire 1998 sample was randomly selected from among all residence telephones. Base numbers were selected randomly from telephone books using the prefixes which had been assigned to each of the four strata. A small random digit was systematically added to the base numbers in an effort to include unlisted telephone numbers. In each interview, data was gathered on both the individual respondent and the family as a whole.

In order to increase the amount of material covered in the questionnaire in 1998, the overall sample was split into three equivalent sub-samples. A total of 1446 interviews, (482 Form A, 488 Form B, and 476 Form C) of approximately 35 to 45 minutes in length were conducted. All interviews were done using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI).

Study Notes:

A data file is not available for the study, and was never deposited with the Data Bank.

1998 Draft Report noted that there were between 45,000 and 49,000 Jewish households in the MetroWest NJ area. The number reported in Data Bank reports is 47,000.

As noted above, the 1998 report did not include a specific Jewish persons estimate. The Data Bank population estimate of 96,000 Jews of 117,100 total people in Jewish households was calculated by Dr. Ira Sheskin and confirmed by Dr. Ron Miller for North American Jewish Data Bank reports. The estimate of 96,000 Jews in 1998 computes to a 82% Jewish, 18% non-Jewish ratio, which is consistent with other northeastern Jewish communities.

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