Millennial Engagement in the Jewish Community

October 25, 2016

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


Big Tent Judaism initiated a study in Summer 2016 to learn more about the experience of being Jewish among Jewish millennials, and to better understand how this population demonstrates its connection to being Jewish. Because this population appears to be elusive and hard to reach, any inquiry into this population is important. The study defined experiences broadly to include anything that a Jewish millennial does that makes her/him feel Jewish, including beyond the “traditional” ways of being Jewish such as going to synagogue, keeping kosher, or celebrating holidays.

The study included a combination of quantitative methods and qualitative methodology. The quantitative portion of the study included a set of multiple choice and scaled item questions in an on-line survey of nearly 600. The study included a series of open-ended survey questions conducted primarily as an optional section of the quantitative survey as well as one-on-one interviews conducted by staff members of Big Tent Judaism.

All of the findings are available here.


In addition to the nearly 600 on-line surveys, we conducted 75 in-depth interviews in-person, as well as on the telephone. In many cases, the respondents were the same as those who participated in the on-line survey and volunteered to participate in a follow-up interview. On-line survey data are included in the quantitative report. In the reporting of the in-depth interviews, we are interested in the (mega and micro) trends that are reflected in these in-depth conversations. It is difficult to draw a set of universal conclusions about engaging this generation. Nonetheless, there are many lessons that we learned. These insights extend our knowledge beyond the previous boundaries, including those made public in recent research studies and reports. Our research also provided us with the opportunity to make suggestions to Jewish communal professionals and volunteer leaders as to how to engage the millennial population, as well as the benefits of doing so.

See a summary of the findings and suggestions at eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Nov. 02, 2016