U.S. Topical Studies

Please click on the Topic listed below to review reports archived at the Berman Jewish DataBank which provide a significant focus on that specific area of Jewish life, such as Boomers, Jewish identity & belief, etc.

DataBank users can also use the Search function on the Home Page to search for material on their topic of interest, which may have been only one content area in a broader national or local Jewish demographic/community study.  Using the Search function will also provide links to articles on that topic which are part of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive collection.

Boomers

Economics

Identity & Belief

Intermarriage

Israel

Jewish Professionals

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

Media

Mobility

Opinion & Politics

Research Methods

Western Communities

Youth & Education

 

For the most recent estimates of Jewish population in the U.S. and worldwide, please see the U.S. Jewish Population Reports and World Jewish Population Reports.

National Jewish Population Surveys (1970-71, 1990 and 2000-01) can be found under U.S. National, which also has recent national Jewish population surveys such as Pew, 2013, etc.

Local Jewish Community studies can be found under U.S. Local Communities.

 

 

Boomers   

2013 GENERATIONS & RE-GENERATION: ENGAGEMENT AND FIDELITY IN 21ST CENTURY AMERICAN JEWISH LIFE.

September 2014 report by David M. Elcott and Stuart Himmelfarb summarizes data from an Internet survey of 12,700 Jewish Americans from a generational perspective as part of the B3 Project.  Tabular analyses in the body of the report and in the Appendix present data organized by the responses of: (1) WWII War generation respondents, (2) the Jewish Boomer generation, (3) Generation X respondents and (4) Millenials.  Empirically, the final report organizes a vast amount of the Spring, 2013 Internet survey responses by these generational cohorts. While the sampling frame was based on Jewish persons with some connection to a Jewish communal organization, patterns of disengagement and partial engagement are explored.

2009  BABY BOOMERS, PUBLIC SERVICE & MINORITY COMMUNITIES.

Baby Boomers, Public Service and Minority Communities report by David M. Elcott summarizes the results of the 2009 "Jewish Encore Survey," which was designed to test  the hypothesis that American Baby Boomers (Americans born 1946-1964), in contrast to previous generations, will behave differently as they approach traditional retirement age, will increasingly be part of the work force, and will thereby "...re-conceive a stage of life [and work] from about 60-80 years old, and as they do, force shifts in communal institutions currently ill-suited to this re-conceived vision." 

The Jewish Encore Survey ultimately received 12,139 responses from Jewish persons identified through connections to Jewish organizations (mostly Federations) in over 30 U.S. communities. Of these survey responses, over 67% were from Jewish Boomers.  Many of the questions replicated the 2008 Met Life Foundation/Civic Ventures survey.

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Economics 

2014 THE GREAT RECESSION AND AMERICAN JEWS: EVIDENCE FROM BALTIMORE, CHICAGO AND CLEVELAND

Secondary analysis of data from the Jewish community studies of Baltimore (2010), Chicago (2010) and Cleveland (2011) provides critical data on the impact of the Great Recession [December 2007-January 2009] on three major Jewish communities - especially since national data does not exist quantitatively. Dr. Kotler-Berkowitz, Director of the Berman Jewish DataBank at JFNA, re-analyzed data from studies conducted by JPAR, providing data on the current economic status of Jewish survey respondent households, the impact of the recession on these households financially and in terms of Jewish communal participation.   Impact of the Great Recession on Jewish households is analyzed by education of respondent, household structure (married, single parent, divorced, widowed, never married), age, gender, Jewish denomination, etc.

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Identity & Belief

2015 AFTER PEW; THINKING ABOUT AMERICAN JEWISH COHESION, ASSIMILATION AND DIVISION

Discussion by Dr. Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz, Director of the Berman Jewish Data Bank at JFNA, focuses on providing a conceptual framework for the analysis of American Jewish life emanating from the 2013 Pew Research Center's Portrait of Jewish Americans.  The author analyzes data from the Pew report and the Pew data file to help understand the Pew data in terms of assimilation, division and cohesion -  and to provide a balanced, somewhat more positive portrait of American Jewish life than those presented in many of the pessimistic interpretations of the Pew data.  

2014  ASSESSING THE TEEN ISRAEL EXPERIENCE

Report issued September 2014 by Steven M. Cohen and Ezra Kopelowitz focuses on alumni, ages 18-39, of the Youth to Israel Adventure (Y2I) high school student travel to Israel program funded by the Lappin Foundation.  Data comparisons of the Internet survey responses of 248 Lappin Alumni to a similar group of Birthright alumni and a cross-section of Jewish adults from the Pew 2013 survey illustrated the impact of Israel trips on a number of key variables, especially in-marriage and raising children as Jewish by religion. 

Data file from Y2I Internet survey is available; data file includes responses from the 248 respondents ages 18-39 compared to the Birthright and Pew study similar-age respondents (as well as another 117 program alumni).

2014 JOFEE: SEEDS OF OPPORTUNITY: A NATIONAL STUDY OF IMMERSIVE JEWISH OUTDOOR, FOOD, AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Report issued in 2014 by Informing Change summarizes the results of a nationally funded study of a growing movement within diverse segments of the Jewish community to connect with Judaism and Jewish identity through a broad constellation of Jewish outdoor experiences, Jewish food and farming programs and (Judaism-infused) environmental education.

Quantitative study of 655 participants in JOFEE programs documents the growing interest in experiences that integrate Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education (JOFEE), Jewish farming programs, Jewish outdoor holiday retreats, Jewish environmental bike rides, Jewish outdoor educator training fellowships, and Jewish backpacking adventure trips as a central part of Jewish learning and Jewish identity emergence.

Reports, slide presentations, and Infographic summarize results. 

Data file is also available.  Data file includes responses of the 655 JOFEE program participants and another 204 non-JOFEE participants in similar types of programs.

In the fall of 2014, the DataBank has also made available VERBATIM quotes from the surveys which attest to the Jewish identity-building component of the Jewish food immersion experiences.  Over 5,000 quotes  - many of which are fascinating  - are included in a zipped excel file.  The Verbatim comments have been separated from the quantitative data file in order to protect the confidentiality of the quantitative survey answers.

2010 SURVEY OF REFORM AND CONSERVATIVE CONGREGATIONS

The 2010 Survey of Reform and Conservative Congregations, a Synagogue 3000 study, uses data that was collected, organized and analyzed by Dr. Steven M. Cohen. It begins by noting that, "U.S. Jewish congregational life is showing signs of stagnation, with few young adults...[and] many older members..." It further notes that the economic recession of 2008 and its aftermath had a major negative impact on Jewish religious congregations and their members.

 

BELONGING WITHOUT BELIEVING: JEWS AND THEIR DISTINCTIVE PATTERNS: 2007

Belonging Without Believing: Jews and their Distinctive Patterns by Dr. Steven M. Cohen and Lauren Blitzer uses data from Jewish respondents in the 2007 Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Survey to examine issues of Jewish affiliation and belief.

 

JEWISH DISTINCTIVENESS IN AMERICA: A STATISTICAL PORTRAIT: 2005

Jewish Distinctiveness In America: A Statistical Portrait, 2005. Tom W. Smith. Report commissioned by the Research Department of the American Jewish Committee. The report looks across multiple studies and compares Jews to other ethnic groups in the United States. The study finds that Jews place high importance on seeking knowledge and individual freedom and choice. Also, Jews tend to be more liberal than others, have a more urban orientation, are more skeptical about the military, and tend to take a more non-punitive approach to child-raising.

 

"EIGHT UP": THE COLLEGE YEARS: 2003 -  Ariela Keysar and Barry A. Kosmin - 

"FOUR UP": THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS - 1999  Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar

These reports summarize the results of a longitudinal study of approximately 1,000 male and female U.S. and Canada Conservative synagogue teenagers who celebrated their b'nai mitzvah in 1994-1995 (Hebrew Year 5755) as they mature during their high school and college years.  "Four Up" summarizes the results of the re-interviews in 1999, while the  "Eight Up" interviews from 2003 focus on the impact of college on Jewish identity among these students.  Section IV in "Eight Up" provides a comparative perspective on Conservative teenager Jewish identity from 1995, 1999, and 2003.

 

CONNECTIONS & JOURNEYS - Bethamie Horowitz: 1998 (report updated 2003)

The "Connections and Journeys..." study was conducted by Bethamie Horowitz for   UJA-Federation of New York in 1998, using a sample drawn from the service area of the eight-county New York area (New York City, Long Island and Westchester). By implication, however, the results are of significance for all American-born Jews. "The purpose of the Connections and Journeys study is to provide insight into two aspects of American-Jewish identity. First the study explores people's current connections to Judaism. What does being Jewish mean to them? In what ways, if at all, do they identify as Jews? How do they relate to their Jewishness? Second, the Connections and Journeys study examines people's journeys - - how people's Jewish identities change and develop throughout the life course....To what extent, if at all, are people's relationships to being Jewish inscribed during childhood and how malleable are these ties later on in life?"

AMERICAN JEWISH IDENTITY SURVEY (AJIS) 2000-01

The American Jewish Identity Survey was originally published in 2001 with the research conducted by Egon Mayer, Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar. The study was reissued in 2003 by the Center for Cultural Judaism.

RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL CHANGE IN AMERICA: THE EXPERIENCE OF MARIN COUNTY

2000 RDD Survey of adults of all religions (including No religion) in Marin County, CA explores issues of religious and spiritual change in America through the prism of Marin County.   604 completed interviews, including 71 Jewish respondents.

A STUDY OF JEWISH CULTURE IN THE BAY AREA, 2000

None-probability mail sample of 1,276 Bay Area Jewish residents explores the relationship of Jewish culture and Jewish identify.  Gary Tobin survey, focus groups and content analysis.

JEWISH IDENTITY IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES, 1990-91

Jewish Identity in Canada and The United States: 1990-1991 was written by Barry A. Kosmin, and published in 1994. It provides a comparison of the Jewish populations of Canada and the the United States using the 1990 NJPS and the Canadian Government Census of 1991. It concludes that the societal processes affecting Jews in both nations are similar and the gap is not as wide as some might have predicted.

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Intermarriage

INTERMARRIAGE AND JEWISH JOURNEYS IN THE UNITED STATES, 2008

Intermarriage and Jewish Journeys in the United States is a report of a study by Arnold Dashefsky, Director of the Data Bank, in collaboration with Zachary Heller, Associate Director of the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies at Hebrew College. This is an in-depth study of intermarried couples in four diverse metropolitan areas: Boston, St. Louis, Atlanta, and the Bay areas of San Francisco. Utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods, it seeks to probe the nature of the couples' relationships to Judaism and the Jewish community, by interviewing both Jewish and Christian partners.

CLEVELAND INTERMARRIAGE STUDY, 2007

Survey and in-person qualitative interviewing study of intermarriage in Cleveland by Dr. Pearl Beck in 2007 for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.  Fifty-one (51) intermarried couples intensively interviewed on a number of topics related to intermarriage and child raising; researcher interview both Jewish and non-Jewish partners interviewed.  While the majority of interviewed couples agreed on the Jewish-raised status of their children, in 18% of the couples, the Jewish and non-Jewish spouse had a different perspective on the child's Jewishness.. This difference in approximately one-of-five intermarried couples indicates that Jewish population studies relying on the responses of Jewish persons only need to be careful in their assessments of the Jewish-raised status of children in intermarried households..

 

FAMILY RESEARCH SERIES #1: INTERMARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND REMARRIAGE AMONG AMERICAN JEWS 1982-87, 1989

Intermarriage, Divorce, and Remarriage Among American Jews 1982-87, was written by Barry A. Kosmin, Nava Lerer and Egon Mayer as a Family Research Series paper in August, 1989. The authors examined marital histories of 6,457 ever married, never widowed, Jewish adults from nine cities around the United States. They tried to determine the extent of intermarriage, divorce, and intermarriage upon remarriage, as well as their possible causal relationship with seven social-demographic factors.

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Israel

 

2015 LOS ANGELES JEWISH JOURNAL SURVEY ON THE IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT - July 2015.  Randomly-based landline and cell phone interviews of 501 Jewish Americans focused on Jewish-American attitudes towards the proposed Iran-US-world powers agreement on Iran's nuclear capabilities, and related views on American-Israeli relationships.  Study conducted from July 16 - July 20, 2015. Data on Jewish attitudes were compared to the views of over 500 randomly-selected Americans representing the US public who were asked the same questions, indicating greater support for the proposed agreement among Jews as opposed to the general U.S. public.   Survey interviewing and weighting was conducted by SSRS with Steven M. Cohen serving as Principal Investigator for the LA Jewish Journal.  Data file for the Jewish responses is available at the Berman Jewish DataBank.

2015 J STREET NATIONAL SURVEY OF JEWISH VOTERS, IRAN POLL- July 2015. Internet-based survey of 1,000 American Jewish voters conducted for J Street by GBA Strategies from July 21-23, 2015 focused on perspectives on the proposed Iran nuclear agreement, as well as other US-Israel relationship issues.  Report shows that the Internet data show the same pattern of higher Jewish support for Israel than general American public support, echoing the results of the Jewish Journal study.  DataBank users are advised to compare questions used in the J Street and LA Jewish Journal studies, as well as to compare how the two studies dealt with the possibility of "no opinion" by respondents.

AJC 2015 SURVEY OF JEWISH AMERICANS -  August 7 - August 12, 2015. The latest AJC (American Jewish Committee) Survey of Jewish Americans was conducted via an Internet survey of 1,030 Jewish persons by GfK Research.  In addition to the multiple variables on US-Israel relations, antisemitism, Presidential candidate preferences, etc., that are typically included in the AJC polls, the proposed Iran nuclear agreement was also a major focus of the data collection process and the survey reports. The report noted a split in the attitudes of Jewish Americans on the Iran agreement, often reflecting other differences of opinion among American Jews.  The AJC 2015 poll was conducted a few weeks after after the LA Jewish Journal and J Street surveys, with a different question sequence utilized.

 

2007 SURVEY OF AMERICAN JEWS

The 2007 Survey of American Jews was conducted by Steven M. Cohen and Ari Y. Kelman. The main report, Beyond Distancing: Young Adult American Jews and Their Alienation From Israel, analyzes data from non-Orthodox Jewish respondents to a combined mail and web-based survey. The report summarizes the Cohen-Kelman argument that younger American Jews are less connected to Israel than older American Jews - with the clear conclusion that increasing distance from Israel has begun to move towards alienation. The Cohen-Kelman report created considerable controversy and debate, with reactions to the report either supporting their thesis, criticizing it, or arguing that the data cited by critics and supporters was essentially the same data - interpreted differently. Multiple responses by other researchers to this study as well as the full data set are available on the overview page.

 

ATTITUDES OF AMERICAN JEWS TOWARD ISRAEL

Attitudes of American Jews Toward Israel is a slide-presentation by Dr. Ira Sheskin which examines attitudes across more than 50 local Jewish community studies completed since 1993 as well as the 2000-01 NJPS.

 

JEWISH DEMOGRAPHY AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL: FUNDRAISING IN TODAY'S CULTURE, 2008

Jewish Demography and Our Relationship with Israel is a slide-presentation by Dr. Ira Sheskin which was intended to familiarize participants with the types of data available from Jewish demographic studies that have implications for fundraising for Israel.

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Jewish Professionals

2014 SURVEY OF AJS [ASSOCIATION FOR JEWISH STUDIES] MEMBERS

Professor Steven M. Cohen conducted the 2014 survey of AJS [Association for Jewish Studies] members via an online, Internet questionnaire basis during September, 2014.  Survey results were published in July, 2015.  The survey data file has been added to the DataBank archive as of December, 2015.

The Highlights report summarizes the major findings of the report, which focuses on the 1,353 North American (US and Canadian) respondents only. The report  provides approximately 40 pages of charts/figures and text analysis in an exceptionally accessible format. 

• Of all AJS survey respondents (N=1,790), 71% were from the USA, 12% Israel, 5% Canada, 9% Other (including Europe), and 3% "no answer."

• The Detailed Results section provides comparisons of the North American and other countries responses.

2013 STUDY OF AMERICAN RABBIS ON AVERSION TO EXPRESSING VIEWS ON ISRAEL

From May-July, 2013, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs sponsored an Internet study of American rabbis from lists available to them in order to measure the level of Rabbinical aversion to expressing their views on Israel.  Professor Steven M. Cohen and Rabbi Jason Gitlin developed the questionnaire and analyzed the survey data; report issued October 2013.  The approximately 550 rabbis who responded tended to be primarily affiliated with the Reform and Conservative movements, or not affiliated with a denomination; few Orthodox rabbis are part of the final sample. 

The major conclusion of the survey was that while the rabbis collectively supported Israel strongly, they meshed "...that attachment with varying degrees of concern about Israeli policies, as well as a significant reluctance to publicly share their true opinions. Nearly half of the rabbis in this survey hold views on Israel that they won’t share publically, many for fear of endangering their reputation and their careers.

THE 2009 SURVEY OF JEWISH COMMUNAL PROFESSIONALS

The 2009 Survey of Jewish Communal Professionals was conducted by Steven M. Cohen. The survey was commissioned by The Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA) and conducted by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner. The survey polled self-defined incumbents of the profession and explored several key issues: who are the professionals who work for Jewish communal organizations today; what are their views, concerns and experiences these days; and how have they fared in the midst of the recent economic downturn?

 

The 2000 AMERICAN RABBI STUDY

The American Rabbi Study was conducted by Professor Paul A. Djupe in the fall and winter of 2000 in the four major movements of American Judaism-Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Reform. The survey's focus on political orientations and political activities of rabbis included a series of questions about the 2000 US presidential election when Senator Joseph Lieberman (an observant Jew) was the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee.

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

 

WELCOMING SYNAGOGUES PROJECT: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM THE 2009 SYNAGOGUE SURVEY ON DIVERSITY AND LGBT INCLUSION

Welcoming Synagogues Project: Preliminary Results from the 2009 Synagogue Survey on Diversity and LGBT Inclusion by Drs. Caryn Aviv, Steven M. Cohen and Judith Veinstein explores the level of inclusiveness that American synagogues have for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews. The study was sponsored by The Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College-JIR (IJSO) and Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity. This slide presentation summarizes preliminary findings from the study which were presented at conferences at the JCC in Manhattan (February 23, 2009) and March 2, 2009 at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Also see a related report, Gays, Lesbians, and the Conservative Movement.

 

GAYS, LESBIANS, AND THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT

Gays, Lesbians, and the Conservative Movement: The JTS Survey of Conservative Clergy, Students, Professionals and Lay Leaders was a research study conducted by Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy, HUC-JIR and Director of the Florence G. Heller / JCCA Research Center. In light of the December 6, 2006 Commission on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) announcement regarding gays and lesbians serving as clergy and related matters, this study attempted to ascertain the views of Conservative leaders.

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Media

 

RECENT TRENDS IN JEWISH DEMOGRAPHICS AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE JEWISH MEDIA, 2011

Recent Trends in Jewish Demographics and Their Impact on the Jewish Media is a slide set created by Dr. Ira Sheskin for a session of the American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) June 27-28 meeting in Dallas. This session examines recent trends in the American Jewish community and their impact on the Jewish media. Part I, relying on both the National Jewish Population Survey and local Jewish community studies, addresses some major trends in the American Jewish community, including the changing size of the Jewish community, its geographic redistribution, changes in levels of Jewish connectivity over time, and the impact of Israelis and Russians on the U.S. Jewish community. Some of the economic and political implications of these major trends are explored. Part II provides a demographic profile of the readers of Jewish newspapers and of Jewish websites. Who is and who is not reading Jewish newspapers and visiting websites for Jewish-related information? This latter analysis relies upon a new data set (Decade 2000) that contains 19,000 20-minutes interviews with Jewish households in 19 American Jewish communities.

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Mobility

 

THE IMPACT OF GEOGRAPHIC MOBILITY ON THE JEWISH COMMUNITY 2009

The Impact of Geographic Mobility on the Jewish Community 2009 by Sid Groeneman and Tom W. Smith of the The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (NORC), presents the results of secondary analyses of three sources of data on the American Jewish community. The analyses were designed to understand the impact of the mobility of Jewish persons and Jewish households on the fabric of Jewish life.

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Opinion & Politics

 

AMERICAN MUSLIM POLL 2017 (with comparisons to Jews, Catholics and Protestants)

January, 2017 survey of  Muslims, Jews, Catholics and Protestants for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding provides numerous interesting comparisons among the four religious groups, especially between Muslim Americans and Jewish Americans. Dahlia Mogahed, Director of Research.   Annual poll follows model of 2016 poll with an emphasis on the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election.

AMERICAN MUSLIM POLL, 2016.

January, 2016 survey of Muslims, Jews, Catholics and Protestants for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding provides numerous interesting comparisons among the four religious groups, especially between Muslim Americans and Jewish Americans. Report written by Dahlia Mogahed and Fouad Pervez .  Topics covered include political party identification and voting plans, political engagement and cooperation with people in neighborhoods, attitudes towards violence, experiencing discrimination, religious service attendance and its relationship to personal and political views. Interviews completed for ISPU by SSRS: 515 Muslim Americans and 313 Jewish Americans; Triton Polling interviewed 1,021 Americans for the sample of Protestants and Catholics.

 

AJC - AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE POLLS

The DataBank archives results and/or data files from the American Jewish Committee's Annual Survey of American Jewish Public Opinion.  The DataBank currently has archived materials for: 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010,  2011201220132015 and 2016. Additional surveys commissioned by the American Jewish Committee on specific topics (such as Holocaust issues) can be accessed via the AJC website (www.ajc.org).

The 2016 AJC Survey of American Jewish Opinion continued the AJC poll analysis, this time utilizing cell phone and landline interviews conducted by SSRS.  August 8-28, 2016; total number of interviews is 1,002 (523 landline and 479 cell).  Extensive methodology report  by SSRS.

The 2015 AJC Survey of American Jewish Opinion was conducted from August 7 - August 12, 2015 with 1,030 Jewish persons via an Internet survey by GfK Research.  In addition to the multiple variables on US-Israel relations, antisemitism, Presidential candidate preferences, etc., that are typically included in the AJC polls, the proposed Iran nuclear agreement was also a major focus of the data collection process and the survey reports. The report noted a split in the attitudes of Jewish Americans on the Iran agreement, often reflecting other differences of opinion among American Jews.  The AJC 2015 poll was conducted a few weeks after after the LA Jewish Journal and J Street surveys, noted below, with a different question sequence utilized.

2015 LOS ANGELES JEWISH JOURNAL SURVEY ON THE IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT - July 2015.  Randomly-based landline and cell phone interviews of 501 Jewish Americans focused on Jewish-American attitudes towards the proposed Iran-US-world powers agreement on Iran's nuclear capabilities, and related views on American-Israeli relationships.  Study conducted from July 16 - July 20, 2015. Data on Jewish attitudes were compared to the views of over 500 randomly-selected Americans representing the US public who were asked the same questions, indicating greater support for the proposed agreement among Jews as opposed to the general U.S. public.   Survey interviewing and weighting was conducted by SSRS with Steven M. Cohen serving as Principal Investigator for the LA Jewish Journal.  Data file for the Jewish responses is available at the Berman Jewish DataBank.

2015 J STREET NATIONAL SURVEY OF JEWISH VOTERS, IRAN POLL- July 2015. Internet-based survey of 1,000 American Jewish voters conducted for J Street by GBA Strategies from July 21-23, 2015 focused on perspectives on the proposed Iran nuclear agreement, as well as other US-Israel relationship issues.  Report shows that the Internet data show the same pattern of higher Jewish support for Israel than general American public support, echoing the results of the Jewish Journal study.  DataBank users are advised to compare questions used in the J Street and LA Jewish Journal studies, as well as to compare how the two studies dealt with the possibility of "no opinion" by respondents.

AMERICAN VALUES SURVEY 2014 with "Jewish Banner" Comparisons

PRRI random telephone study of over 4,500 Americans (half via cell phones) on a vast array of American political, social and economic values was conducted in summer 2014, prior to 2014 election. Series of fascinating comparisons on survey questions among American religious groups, including a few on Jewish respondent comparisons (such as perception of Tea Party).  DataBank also has archived and made available a topline comparison of Jewish respondent (maximum N=131) answers and non-Jewish respondent answers on essentially every question in the survey. 

PEW 2014: HOW AMERICANS FEEL ABOUT RELIGIOUS GROUPINGS

Pew Research Center 2014 survey of 3,217 respondents from Pew's American Trends Panel used a "thermometer" measure to focus on how Americans feel about various religious groups. Results show that Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals are rated warmly, but atheists and Muslims more coldly. Interestingly, Evangelicals rated Jews highly, but their views are not reciprocated by Jewish respondents.  Detailed tables from the Pew, July 2014 report have been revised by Pew for the Berman Jewish DataBank, adding dimensions of region of residence, income, frequency of religious attendance and more detailed political party affiliation to the original detailed tables in the report. 

ADL 2013 POLL ON ANTI-SEMITISM

The ADL 2013 poll on anti-Semitism compares current American views towards Jews and levels of anti-Semitism with previous studies sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. The press release notes that 12 percent of Americans hold deeply anti-Semitic views, a decrease of 3 percent from a similar poll conducted in 2011.  Survey data summary and slide set focus on Anti-Semitism.  Additional report focuses more broadly on general American attitudes toward Israel, the Palestinians and the Peace Process.

REPUBLICAN JEWISH COALITION - EXIT POLLS - NOVEMBER 2012

Results of exit polls post-November 2012 election between President Barack Obama and his presidential opponent, Republican Mitt Romney are reported for a sample of 1,000 Jewish voters nationally, as well as 600 Jewish voters in Ohio and another 600 in Florida.

Nationally the exit poll data showed 61% of Jewish voters reported that they voted for Obama and 32% for Romney.  The RJC Press release notes that this represented a significant increase from the 22% who voted for the Republican candidate in 2008.

Results of survey for US, Florida and Ohio include summary of data and extensive cross-tabulations.

JEWISH AMERICAN VOTING BEHAVIOR: JUST THE FACTS 1972-2008 

Jewish American Voting Behavior from the Solomon Project is authored by Mark Mellman, Dr. Aaron Strauss, and Dr. Kenneth Wald. This study provides an extensive analysis of exit poll data on the Jewish community’s voting pattern. While there are claims that Jewish voters are turning increasingly Republican, the study found that Jewish voters are, in-fact, still solidly Democratic.

 

THE JEWISH VOTE 2012

The Jewish Vote by Dr. Ira Sheskin uses the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey and more than 55 of the local Jewish community studies stored at the North American Jewish Data Bank to examine Jewish voting patterns.

 

2012 JEWISH VALUES SURVEY

The 2012 Jewish Values Study by Dr. Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox (Public Religion Research Institute) was designed to take "... a broad look at how Jewish values, experiences and identity are shaping political beliefs and behavior and influencing social action in the Jewish community and beyond." The main report as well as additional supplemental materials are included here. The data file will be available approximately 2 years from public release of the report (April, 2014).

ADL 2011 POLL ON ANTI-SEMITISM

The ADL 2011 Poll on Anti-Semitism compares current American views towards Jews and levels of anti-Semitism with previous studies sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. The press release notes that "The ADL survey ... found that 15 percent of Americans – nearly 35 million adults – hold deeply anti-Semitic views, an increase of 3 percent from a similar poll conducted in 2009, and matching the levels of anti-Semitic propensities recorded in the U.S. in 2005 and 2007...."

 

BJPA POLL OF JEWISH LEADERS: EGYPTIAN UPRISING, 2011

The Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner released the results of an overnight poll of American Jewish leaders focused on the 2011 Egyptian Uprising. Results of this poll show that American Jews are of two minds about recent developments. On the one hand, they warmly greet the apparent turn to democracy and human rights. At the same time, they are unsure of the implications for Israel and the Jewish State's long-standing peace treaty with Egypt.

 

THE 2008 NATIONAL SURVEY ON SPIRITUALITY AND POLITICS

The 2008 National Survey on Spirituality and Politics was sponsored by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner and includes two reports issued in October 2008 prior to the US presidential election. (1) Israel Off Their Minds: The Diminished Place of Israel in the Political Thinking of Young Jews argues that younger non-Orthodox Jewish American were going to be much less concerned about Israeli-related issues in the 2008 Presidential election (and by implication, state and local elections) than their older counterparts. (2) The 2008 Presidential Election: As Democratic and Liberal as Ever, by Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Dr. Sam Abrams and Dr. Judith Veinstein, addresses the long-standing identification of American Jews with the Democratic party and the liberal camp in American politics. The authors assess whether this is still the case, focusing on the following month's 2008 Presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain. For an analysis of support for Obama, please see this Gallup Poll 2009 report.

 

JEWISH POPULATION SURVEY OF CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: 2000 and 2006

Jewish Population Survey of Congressional Districts: 2000 and 2006 by Dr. David Paul, reviews data estimates of the Jewish population for each congressional district for 2000 and 2006 Congresses. The study record includes a main report with a summary of findings for 2000 and 2006 as well as a basic introduction to the analytical process used. There are also six supplemental spreadsheets of data available for download.

 

 

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Research Methods

 

MATERIALS USED IN COMMUNITY STUDIES

Please note that the Data Bank has added a new section for recent reports documenting survey publicity materials used in Jewish population studies, for marketing and publicity purposes before and during the interviewing period. We have added these materials for the Chicago 2010, Baltimore 2010 and New Haven 2010.

 

AJS CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS 2009

We have archived and posted two presentations from the 2009 Association for Jewish Studies conference in a Data Bank-sponsored session titled "Measuring Identity and Religiosity Among American Jews: Demographic and Sociological Implications from National and Local Community Studies." The slide presentations have been posted by the authors and the Data Bank in order to allow researchers who could not attend the conference to see the materials. The presentations should be viewed as works in progress. We anticipate that the authors may revise the presentations in the near future, perhaps for journal publication.

How NOT to Do Jewish Population Studies: or, Jewish Population Studies for Dummies by Dr. Ron Miller

Temporal Changes in Basic Measures of Demography and Religiosity in the Results of Local Jewish Community Studies by Dr. Ira Sheskin

 

MEASURING AND ASSESSING THE AMERICAN JEWISH POPULATION

Measuring And Assessing the American Jewish Population by Dr. Ira Sheskin addresses issues of relevance to the American Jewish Committee as of June, 2008, including the demographics and religiosity of American Jews, attitudes of American Jews toward Israel, anti-Semitism, and politics.

 

DATA BANK NEWS FALL 2000: SUMMARY OF PAPERS FROM 1999 CONFERENCE

Data Bank News Fall 2000 summarizes a conference organized by the Data Bank to review the state of knowledge and consider future directions for research. Several leading social scientists of contemporary Jewry were invited to prepare papers on "what we know and what we need to find out" in their respective areas of special interest in Jewish life. A summary of their presentations is included in this newsletter.

 

A HANDLE ON THE FUTURE: THE POTENTIAL OF THE 1990 NATIONAL SURVEY FOR AMERICAN JEWRY

A Handle of the Future: The Potential of the 1990 National Survey for American Jewry is a collection of two papers, the first written by Sidney Goldstein on the 1990 NJPS: Why and How, and the second written by Steven Huberman on Jewish Megatrends- Planning for the Twenty-First Century. The first paper strongly suggests the need for a national study in addition to local community studies. The second paper argues for the need to plan for the twenty-first century in terms of creating solutions to promote affiliation, strengthen Jewish education, increase financial resources, expand the leadership base and reach out to those most physically at risk.

 

ALSO SEE:

Jewish Community Studies as Planning Tools for the American Jewish Community by Dr. Ira Sheskin on the JCPA website.

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Western USA Communities

 

AJS CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS 2006

In an historic session at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies in San Diego, three principal investigators, Ron Miller, Bruce Phillips, and Ira Sheskin, who collectively are responsible for dozens of Jewish community studies now archived at the Mandell L. Berman Institute - North American Jewish Data Bank, presented the results of their recent work on Western Jewish communities, along with a paper on the overall view of Jews of the Western U.S. by Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz of the United Jewish Communities. The session was organized and chaired by Arnold Dashefsky, Data Bank Director and professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. The session was entitled "Cities of Silver and Gold: Is Urban Jewish Life in the Western U.S. a Harbinger of the Future of American Jewry?" Papers included the following:

Has the West Been Won or Lost? Cohesion among Western Jews in Comparison to Jews Elsewhere by Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz (United Jewish Communities, New York)

A Tale of Two "Jewish?" Cities: San Diego and Phoenix by Ron Miller (North American Jewish Data Bank, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT)

From Margin to Mainstream: The Seismic Shift among Jews in the San Francisco Metro Area by Bruce A. Phillips (Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles)

Gambling on a Jewish Future: The Jews of Las Vegas by Ira M. Sheskin (University of Miami)

WESTERN COMMUNITY DATA ANALYSIS FROM NJPS 1990

Reinventing Jewish Community: Can the West Be Won analyzed NJPS data on Western US Jews from the 1990 NJPS, exploring differences between Western US Jews and Jews from other regions to inform conversations on building Jewish community in the Western US.  A number of pilot projects for creating western Jewish communities are also noted.  Jacob B. Ukeles was the consultant for the Western Area Task Force of the Council of Jewish Federations. 

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Youth & Education

 

CAMP WORKS: THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF JEWISH OVERNIGHT CAMP

CAMP WORKS, published in 2011, was conducted in 2010 by Steven M. Cohen, Ron Miller, Ira M. Sheskin, and Berna Torr. CAMP WORKS provides systematic and quantitative evidence that summers at Jewish camp create adults who are committed to the Jewish community and engaged in Jewish practice. Utilizing the most recent National Jewish Population Survey and 25 local community studies completed between 2000-2008, all archived at the North American Jewish Data Bank, this report offers the fullest picture to date of the impact of Jewish summer camp. The influence of summer camp on the ways in which adult Jews choose to engage with the community and the degree to which they associate with other Jews can be felt long after the last sunset of the summer. The impact is striking, especially when compared to their peers who did not spend their summer months at Jewish camp.

 

EDUCATORS IN JEWISH SCHOOLS STUDY

The Educators in Jewish Schools Study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 by Drs. Michael Ben-Avie, Jeffrey Kress, Shira Rosenblatt and Leora Issacs. This research study presents the findings of a comprehensive North American random sample study of educators and administrators in Jewish schools. JESNA's key learning goals for EJSS were to discover: Who are the educators that teach in Jewish day and complementary schools; what led them to a career in Jewish education; how do they perceive their current positions; and what factors influence their decisions to remain in the field?

 

JEWISH COMMUNITY STUDY DATA RELEVANT TO JEWISH EDUCATION: 2008 SUMMARY

Jewish Community Study Data Relevant to Jewish Education slides were presented by Dr. Ira Sheskin to the Association of Directors of Central Agencies for Jewish Education in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in February 2008. The purpose of this session was to familiarize the directors with the types of data available from Jewish demographic studies that have implications for Jewish education.

 

YOUNG JEWISH ADULTS IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY 2006

Young Jewish Adults in the United States Today. A Research Report for the American Jewish Committee, 2006. Jacob B. Ukeles, Ron Miller, and Pearl Beck of Ukeles Associates, Inc. Report commissioned by the Research Department of the American Jewish Committee, which noted in its summary that: "The 1.46 million American Jews between the ages of 18 and 39 represent the future of the American Jewish community. This study summarizes existing knowledge about Gen X and Gen Y, and analyzes data from the National Jewish Population Study, the annual American Jewish Committee Surveys of American Jewish Opinion, and Ukeles Associates studies of local Jewish communities. Most important, it draws policy implications about how to engage this group in Jewish life on their own terms."

 

THE BLUE STAR IMPACT: EVALUATING 50 YEARS OF BLUE STAR'S MISSION (1997)

The Blue Star Impact by Dr. Ira Sheskin. This report examines the impact that Blue Star Camps has had on former campers and counselors and finds a positive relationship between attendence at the camp and Jewish identity. The report also looks at the general success of former campers in life, levels of Jewishness of current campers, and ways that Blue Star can improve the camp experience for future campers.

ALSO SEE:

Parental Perspectives on Jewish Education in the United States: A Study of an Oft-Neglected Stakeholder Group from the Center for Cultural Judaism website

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