2010 Study of the Rochester Jewish Community

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Rochester

Principal Investigator(s): Jocelyn Goldberg-Schaible

Study Dates: 2010

Population Estimates:

"Count Me In," the 2010 Rochester (NY) Study, is not an RDD-based Jewish population study, but a viral Internet Study of the Rochester (NY) Jewish community.

Report estimates 19,850 Jews live in 9,740 Jewish households in Monroe County.

Key Findings:

The Jewish population of Rochester has declined since 1999 Study which estimated 20,487 Jews and 10,230 Jewish households.

Only one-of-three Internet survey respondents was born in the Rochester area.Jewish community described as very stable; only between 2% and 4% of Internet survey respondents are likely to move out of the community.

In the next three years.4% of Jewish persons are estimated to be children under age 5, while another 10% are children ages 5-12; report estimates 13-19 year old Jews are another 10% of the community.15% of Jews are at least 70 years old; another 16% in their 60s.

65% of Internet respondents [excluding college students] are married for the first time, and another 11% are divorced and remarried.

44% of Internet respondents self-identify as Reform, 32% Conservative, 8% Orthodox, 13% Just Jewish-Post-Denominational.

Synagogue membership estimated to be 65% of all Rochester Jewish households, compared to 54% in the 1999 Study.

Including JCC and synagogues/temples, 83% of respondents report Jewish organizational affiliation.

Ritual behavior practice is higher among the Internet respondents and their households than behaviors reported in the 1999 study data.

♦ 2010 results: : 91% always/usually attend a Passover seder, 89% light Chanukah candles, 86% have a Mezuzzah on their door, 39% light Friday night candles, 30% keep kosher at home and 7% indicated they were Shomer Shabbat.

Attachment to Israel in 2010 appears to be higher than in 1999: in 2010, 53% said very attached, and another 34% said somewhat attached.

Internet survey respondents report an average of 3.41 Jewish friends of their five closest friends. Number of Jewish friends is strongly linked to self-defined denomination: Orthodox 4.36, Conservative 3.74, reform 3.41, and post-denominational 3.05.

Interfaith household data presented differently than in other Jewish community studies; 17% of all households are interfaith households, which includes unmarried, widowed, etc.     Estimated number of interfaith households is 1,600.

♦ Of these, 57% have at least one child.

Over 60% of all children in intermarried households are being raised as Jewish.

Reported philanthropy rates also high: 71% report a Jewish Federation of Rochester or a UJA donation in the year before the Study.


Report has additional details on geographic distribution of Jewish respondents, and considerable data on the community's Jewish value structure.


Data in report are based on 2,234 Jewish respondents who responded to the Internet survey [313 were respondents from same household, leaving a net of 1,921 different households].

Sample Size: Primary sample is 2,234 Jewish household respondents who completed Internet survey; there are an additional 100 local college student surveys not included in the 2,234 respondents.

Sample Notes:

Overview Slide show includes detailed description of sampling plan, viral nature of Internet survey, and the effort to reach all Jewish households in the Study area.

Survey link included in Federation Focus and e-newsletter, postcards sent to households on Jewish community lists, synagogues and agencies, secular papers, etc., with word-of-mouth and viral transmission encouraged among friends and relatives.Some personal intercepts included kiosks at the JCC and the Jewish Home.

A cadre of volunteers were trained to deliver the survey throughout the community to anyone who did not have access to computer and internet or who was not comfortable participating in an online survey of this nature. Volunteers with laptops visited people in their homes, in other institutional settings and via phone.Anyone who called to say they needed help completing the survey was personally contacted by staff or volunteers.

♦ All developmentally disabled adults residing in three Jewish group homes were also included by utilizing specially trained volunteers to deliver the survey to them using laptops.

Study Notes:

Revised version of the Overview Slide set, November 4, 2010, has an extended discussion of viral procedures, etc.

In addition to the Overview Slide set, 9 additional reports are available at the Berman Jewish DataBank for downloading.  These slide sets focus on a wide variety of aspects of the Jewish community of Rochester, including Geography, Jewish connections and Jewish education, Interfaith Households, Aging, Children and Teens, GLBT households, Families with a Household Member with a Disability, Looking Ahead: Anticipated Needs in the Future of Jewish Rochester.


Language: English