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After almost any study conducted in the Jewish community, articles like this one will inevitably raise the issue of the efficacy of Jewish education and how that level of efficacy contributed to the study’s results. People reading the recent Jewish Electorate Institute and AJC studies have asked variations of the question, “How is it possible that we raised a generation of youths who could possibly believe X or do Y?” Sometimes it is put even more crassly. “After investing so many millions of dollars in our future, especially in sending so many of them to Israel, how is it possible that this is what we are still seeing?”
Updated: Aug. 01, 2021
Nishma, a one-year-old sociological and market research firm, published a new study titled “The Nishma Profile of American Modern Orthodox Jews.” While the survey attempts to present an objective view of the Modern Orthodox community’s thoughts on religious life, the results provide instructive, and perhaps unintended, information about the respondents’ financial, rather than social or religious, concerns. Some observers have sought to focus on the answers it gives to potentially divisive questions about women in Orthodoxy, referring specifically to the “schism” about women serving as rabbis. However, the starker results of the survey reach a conclusion that, by far, unites all factions of the Modern Orthodox community. That concern is, in fact, how to support children and pay tuition for them to attend Jewish schools, how to keep kosher in a world with increasingly rising costs, and how to survive in increasingly expensive neighborhoods.
Updated: Oct. 25, 2017
This month, Navon is launching the first wave of a new Jewish School Census, focusing initially on part-time, supplemental Jewish schools. These schools remain the largest component of American Jewish education, yet we know very little about the scope of supplemental Jewish education in North America. An established baseline for enrollment at these schools would be an invaluable tool for professionals aiming to increase the relevancy and impact these schools have on their students. Updating that baseline every year can yield insight into how specific communities are able to “move the needle.”
Updated: Sep. 21, 2016
Young people of Russian background, coming from secular homes and with little or no formal Jewish education, are considered among the most unaffiliated and at-risk of American Jews in terms of Jewish identity. But a comprehensive new study of that cohort finds that a Brooklyn-based program founded in 2006 to address the problem has produced some striking results.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2015
The number of visitors to Israel's public libraries increased in 2013, according to a survey conducted by the Culture and Sport Ministry in some 40 public libraries as part of Reading and Literature Month. The survey also showed that over 1 million people in Israel have active public library memberships (which are not always free), and that, on Aug. 11, 2013, a million books were checked out.
Updated: Jun. 11, 2014
2013 was a good year for prognostications about the American Jewish future. The Pew Research Center released findings of a national survey of Jews, and the data were rich enough to spark intense wrangling over their implications. For those trying to make sense of the current debates, or for those who think about the future by first considering the past, the Berman Jewish Policy Archive presents this guide to demographic debates of yore. In the pages that follow, readers will find discussions of method and interpretation dating back to the first half of the 20th century, but with a special focus on the three major National Jewish Population Surveys of 1970, 1990 and 2000-1.
Updated: Feb. 19, 2014
These are some of the findings of the new Pew Research Center survey, conducted Feb. 20-June 13, 2013, among a nationally representative sample of U.S. Jews. This is the most comprehensive national survey of the Jewish population since the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey. More than 70,000 screening interviews were conducted to identify Jewish respondents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Longer interviews were completed with 3,475 Jews, including 2,786 Jews by religion and 689 Jews of no religion.
Updated: Oct. 21, 2013