Source: The Jewish Link
Nishma, a one-year-old sociological and market research firm which previously published a study about people who became non-religious, published a new study on September 28th, 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.
Eighty-three percent of the survey’s respondents send their children to K-12 Jewish day schools and 89 percent of the survey’s respondents referred to the costs of Jewish schooling as “a serious problem” of greatest concern to the community, while another 8 percent referred to it as “somewhat a problem,” a group that taken together comprises 97 percent of the survey respondents.
“These results were a little bit surprising. We all know Jewish day school education is valued very much in the community. Eighty-three percent go to an Orthodox Jewish Day school, and another 8 percent sends to another community day school or Jewish school, so it bumps that figure up to 91 percent,” said Mark Trencher, the Nishma founder and principal organizer of the study.
“To me there has always been a huge commitment to Jewish day school, and a lot of their funding goes to Jewish day school. It’s a commitment but also a concern,” he said. “People are working hard, with dual incomes, but the cost is also a problem.”
Read the entire article at The Jewish Link.