Jewish Community Study of New York 2011

Sponsor(s): UJA-Federation of New York

Principal Investigator(s): Steven M. Cohen, Jacob B. Ukeles, Ron Miller, Pearl Beck, David Dutwin

Study Dates: 2011. February 8, 2011 to July 10, 2011.

Population Estimates:

The 2011 Study estimated that 1,538,000 Jewish persons live in 694,000 Jewish households in the eight-county area served by UJA-Federation of New York (New York City, Long Island and Westchester).

An additional 231,000 non-Jewish persons also live in these households - total number of people is 1,769,000.

The revised comprehensive report also notes that there are an estimated 73,000 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust residing in the eight-county study area - an increase in the survivor estimate from 55,000 in 2002, despite mortality -  reflecting the significantly expanded definition of the geographic areas included under the Nazi Victim Survivor compensation programs agreed upon by the Claims Conference  and the Federal Republic of Germany which now includes a much higher proportion of the Former Soviet Union than in 2002.

Key Findings:

The Comprehensive Report was originally issued in June, 2012; an updated version as of March 2013 is available under Downloads on the right side of this page. Steven M. Cohen, Jacob B. Ukeles and Ron Miller co-authored the report.  It includes a methodological overview summary as an Appendix.  An expanded discussion of the Study's research methodology is also available.

The Geographic Profile report was released on January 17, 2013; an updated version as of October, 2013 is available under Downloads. Pearl Beck was the lead author for JPAR, with Steven M. Cohen, Jacob B. Ukeles and Ron Miller as co-authors. (There is also a separate page for geography-based materials from the Study -  see link on left.)

For the convenience of Berman Jewish DataBank users who wish to only download data on one or more of the eight counties, a supplemental "geography" page for the Jewish Community Study of New York 2011 has been created.  Please click on this link to go to the supplemental geography page.


The Special Report on Poverty was released on June 6, 2013 with Jacob B. Ukeles as lead author (Steven M. Cohen and Ron Miller are co-authors).  The report was sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York in consultation with Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.  A revised version of the poverty report (as of August 1, 2013) is available under Downloads, as is a slide set summarizing poverty report findings.

A Special Study on "Partly Jewish Jews" was added in November, 2013 by Cohen, Ukeles and Miller.

In June 2014, UJA-Federation of New York published two reports authored by Jennifer Rosenberg, Director of Research,  UJA-Federation of New York, as part of its "Many Faces of Jewish Community” program series.  The two reports are available for downloading on the right side of this page: "Special Study on Nonwhite, Hispanic and Multiracial Jewish Households," and "Special Study on Jewish Households with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender) Individuals."


Key findings from the Study listed below are taken from the Fast Facts summary of the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 which is available at the UJA-Federation of New York website of the left under "Related Links."

Population Estimates

In the eight-county New York area, 1.77 million people (1.54 million Jews) live in 694,000 Jewish households.The Jewish population increased by 126,000 Jews (9%) between 2002 and 2011.Of all households in the area, 1 in 6 is a Jewish household.Brooklyn is home to 561,000 Jews, or 36% of all Jewish people in the area; it is the county with the largest increase in Jewish population since 2002 (105,000).

More Jews live in the eight-county New York area than in the combined Jewish populations of the metropolitan areas of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.


The number of Jewish children and young adults under age 25 has grown by 66,000 since 2002.The number of Jewish seniors has grown since 2002, with 45,000 more Jews ages 75 and over in comparison with 2002.

Immigration in the Jewish community has subsided considerably since the 1990s.

People in Need and Access to Support

The number of poor Jewish households grew substantially, reaching 130,000 (up from 103,000 in 2002); the number of people in poor Jewish households rose by nearly 120,000, to 361,000.More than half a million people live in poor and near-poor Jewish households.Across the area, 20% of people in Jewish households are poor; in New York City alone, 1 in 4 people in Jewish households is poor.Poverty affects 71% of Russian speakers with a senior in the household, 43% of Hasidic households, 28% percent of seniors living alone, and 24% of single-parent households.

At least 294,000 people in Jewish households draw on such public-assistance programs as food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing.

Jewish Engagement and Connections

More than half of all Jews feel that being Jewish is very important, give to Jewish charity, attend a Passover seder, light Chanukah candles, fast on Yom Kippur, and report that their closest friends are mostly Jewish.Both ends of the denominational spectrum have grown dramatically: the number of Orthodox and nondenominational Jews each increased by more than 100,000 over the past decade.The number of Conservative and Reform Jews each decreased by about 40,000 over the past decade; Conservative and Reform Jews who belong to a congregation are much more highly engaged than whose who identify with these denominations but do not belong to a congregation.The intermarriage rate has been stable overall — 22% for all married couples, and 2 in 5 non-Orthodox married couples — but it is increasing among non-Orthodox couples married within the last five years (50%).

Overall, measures of Jewish engagement are lower than they were a decade ago among Jews who are not Orthodox.

Jewish Families and Jewish Education

Intensification of Jewish education is deepening for most of the community: nearly half of those ages 18 to 34 went to day school, compared with just 16% of those ages 55 to 69; and fully 60% of those ages 18 to 34 went to Jewish overnight camp, compared with just 37% of those ages 55 to 69.In contrast, levels of Jewish education have been low and falling for the nondenominational population: 54% of nondenominational and secular respondents ages 55 to 69 received no Jewish education whatsoever, compared with 70% of those ages 18 to 34.Of 405,000 children in Jewish households, only 12% live in intermarried households -- an 18% decrease from 2002.

Less than a third (31%) of intermarried couples are raising their children as exclusively Jewish; of the 46% of children in intermarried households being raised "not Jewish," about a third are being raised in another religion, with the remainder in no religion; another 13% are "undecided."

Philanthropic Giving

Philanthropic giving has declined slightly since 2002: in 2011, 83% of Jewish households reported charitable donations, compared with 88% in 2002.Of those earning $250,000 or more, 97% report philanthropic giving, but a quarter make no gifts to a Jewish cause.

Jews under 50, excluding the Orthodox, are less likely than those over 50 to give to Jewish causes; giving to Jewish causes drops from 66% of those ages 75 and over to 31% of those under 35.

Diverse Jewish Communities

Orthodox Jews and Russian-speaking Jews together comprise more than 40% of all Jews in the eight-county New York area.Of all Jewish households, 12% are biracial, Hispanic, or nonwhite.Other diverse groups that are significant in size include Israelis (121,000 Jews), Jews in LGBT households (50,000 Jews), and the Syrian Jewish community (38,000 Jews).Orthodox households are home to 64% of all Jewish children in the eight-county New York area.

Haredi (Hasidic and Yeshivish) birthrates are more than three times as high as non-Orthodox birthrates.


Geographic area includes the five boroughs of New York City (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) and Westchester County. All households with Jewish adults defined as the sampling population.

Sample Size: 5,993

Sample Notes:

Methodology.   The DataBank has posted two versions of the New York 2011 research methodology discussion.  First, the original Methodology: Brief Summary which is an Appendix to the original Comprehensive Report, and second, an Expanded Research Methodology Report released in 2013. 

(1)  The Brief Methodological Summary includes a complete sample disposition of the Study, a description of the sample design and an overview of the basic screening questions used to include a household as Jewish for the Study.  (2) The Expanded Methodology Report, in addition, also includes a detailed methodological discussion of the sampling design (LIST, RDD, cell phones), post-stratification efforts, design effect calculations, Jewish household and population estimate and weighting procedures, potential error ranges and survey data potential errors (including design effect) errors; it was updated in June 2013 when the data file was publicly released, and posted online in September 2013.  The Expanded Methodology Report also includes a list of distinctive Jewish and Russian names used as part of the complex sampling design utilized by the JPAR research team.

Sampling Error, Response Rate, Cooperation Rate.

Potential sampling error for all 5,993 interviews is +/-2% (including design effect); 1,302 interviews were completed with respondents on cell phones; 79% cooperation rate for identified Jewish households;32% overall response rate (AAPOR RR3); response rate in the randomly-called cell phone sampling frame was 30% and cooperation rate was 79%.

DATA FILE for the Study is available for downloading in a zipped format.  The zipped data file includes the Public SPSS SAV version and the PUBLIC SPSS Portable version (as well as a list of variable name abbreviations which occurred in the SAV to POR transformation); the SAV file is strongly recommended as the SPSS file to use.  As much as possible, recoded variables have been organized into analytic categories, with name changes designed to make using the data file easier.  The latest version of the New York 2011 Data File was updated as of June 30, 2013.  For multiple response analysis of age purposes, the complete age variable distribution variables for the Respondent, Spouse, Others Adults 1-11 (AgeA1...) and Children 1-10 (AgeKid1...) have been placed in sequence at the bottom of the file.

Also included in the zipped "data file" format is an SPSS Syntax file, which is included for documentation purposes only in order to show how most of the recoded variables in the data set were created.  Since some created "working" variables were later deleted from the SPSS SAV version, recoded variable order was shifted at times, and name changes were made to make using the data file easier, the Syntax should not be used to "run" the data file.

Data file weights include a household weight which extrapolates the completed interviews to 694,000 Jewish households in the eight-county NY area (precise 694,233 using v407 "HHWeightFinal"), a Jewish weight which extrapolates to 1,538,000 Jews (precise 1,538,001 using v408 "JewwtFinal"), and a total persons in the households weight which is 1,769,000 (precise 1,768,986 using v409 "PplWeightFinal").

There is also a household weight for statistical testing, v411, "StatHHWt," which divides each household's HH weight by the average HH weight for all completed interviews in order to facilitate tests of statistical significance which are susceptible to "sample" size, such as chi square.


Study Notes:

Credit to UJA-Federation of New York should appear in all materials based on the Study as "©2012 United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc."


The Comprehensive Report was written by Steven M. Cohen, Jacob B. Ukeles and Ron Miller, for the JPAR research team and UJA-Federation of New York.  JPAR is a strategic alliance of UAI (Ukeles Associates, Inc., New York) and SSRS (Social Science Research Solutions, Media, PA.).  JPAR conducted the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 with SSRS providing sampling, interviewing, Jewish population estimating and weighting of the data file. The UAI Research team provided data analysis, modifications to the data file and report writing. 

UJA-Federation of New York professionals Lyn Light Geller, study supervisor, and Jennifer Rosenberg, study director, oversaw the 2011 Study, deserve special mention for their enormous contributions to the Study, from questionnaire construction to report and slide show presentation suggestions, editing, revisions, proofing and design.

The two special reports added in June, 2014: " Special Study on Nonwhite, Hispanic and Multiracial Jewish Households," and "Special Study on Jewish Households with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender) Individuals" were compiled by UJA-Federation of New York's research department, led by Jennifer Rosenberg.

Language: English