The 2008 National Survey on Spirituality and Politics

Sponsor(s): Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (BJPA)

Principal Investigator(s): Steven M. Cohen

Study Dates: September, 2008

Key Findings: The 2008 National Survey on Spirituality and Politics was conducted for the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU-Wagner by Synovate, Inc. using its Global Opinion Panel.

  • First report, "American Jews and the 2008 Presidential Election: As Democratic and Liberal As Ever?" was co-authored by Steven M. Cohen, Sam Abrams and Judith Vornstein, and provided interesting analyses of the 2008 election a month before President Obama was elected.

  • Second report, "Israel Off Their Minds: The Diminished Place of Israel in the Political Thinking of Young Jews," co-authored by Cohen and Abrams, argued a few weeks before the 2008 Presidential election that: "When they go to the nation¬ís polls next week to vote for President on November 4, young non-Orthodox Jews will be far less likely than their elders to be thinking about the security of Israel."

  • The third report, co-authored by Steven M. Cohen and Laurence A. Hoffman, focused on spirituality and was published as part of the Synagogue 3000 Initiative [S3K].

  • The Cohen-Hoffman report was designed to be the "...The first-ever comparative national study of spirituality among American Jews and Christians ....[and] demonstrates that young Jews are more spiritually inclined on every available measure than their elders," thereby narrowing the historic large gap in spiritual orientation between Jews and others.

  • Please see the link below to Synagogue 3K for additional reports of interest to Data Bank users, and for a version of the questionnaire with statistics included.

  • The questionnaire version below is the original mailed version from Synovate.
  • Sample: Synovate panel web and mail responses to the survey - dual sampling and analysis frames: (1) Jewish Americans and (2) National Sample of all Americans.

    Sample Size: Initial reports based on over 1,500 Jewish respondents and an additional similar number of non-Jewish respondents.

    Sample Notes: Reports note 3,116 respondents: 1596 Jewish and 1,520 non-Jewish.

    Basic data file available below has a total of 3,254 respondents, Jews and non-Jews, including some data from a second wave of surveys. Number of Jewish respondents ("RJewish") = 1598 unweighted.

    Weighted numbers should be used to compare general population and Jewish -- use wgt2 as weighting variable - - are 1,551 national non-Jewish sample and 39 Jewish.... Jewish sampling frames weighted to be approximately 2.4% of US population.

    Also attached is a Jewish-only data file (1598 cases) - data can be run unweighted or weighted using wgt - for analyzing Jewish-only respondents.

    Study Notes: Reports describe weighting system used to post-stratify initial Jewish Internet and mail survey responses to Jewish demographic characteristics to the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey [NJPS].

    Appendix compares weighted data [demographics]from Berman-Wagner survey to NJPS 2000 and PEW 2007 study: US Religious Landscape, showing comparability of the web-mail survey results to the national telephone-interviewed probability samples used for NJPS and PEW. <>P Appendix tables in initial report ["Election..."] also compare results of the Jewish sample and the national sample on key variables.

    Report briefly describes procedures used to weight the national sample based on Internet and mail responses to census data, with additional adjustments to account for Hispanic and black under-participation in the survey.