At GA, foundation announced $1 million challenge grant to Berman Jewish Policy Archive.
The Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation announced yesterday a $1 million grant for the purposes of conducting a national Jewish population study next year, which would be the first such study since the one conducted in 2000-2001.
The grant, awarded to the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Policy, is a challenge grant, meaning the research team must raise the rest of the study’s budget of about $2 million by Sept. 1. The foundation also supports the policy archive.
One of the world’s leading Jewish demographers says the number of Jews in New York is really about 100,000 less than indicated by the new Jewish Community Study of New York, commissioned by UJA-Federation.
The New York study, released earlier this month, determined the Jewish population of the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester to be 1.54 million.
But Sergio Della Pergola, professor of population studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told The Jewish Week that individuals who say they are Jewish yet do not have Jewish parents and who profess another religion should not be included as Jews.
A survey by the American Jewish Committee on Latino-Jewish relations shows that positive Latino views about Jews tend to correlate with how much contact Latinos have with Jews, as well as their levels of levels of education, income and acculturation.
Eighteen percent of Latinos in the survey were shown to be highly familiar with Jews and 31 percent were not familiar with them at all.
Last week, sociologist Bruce Phillips argued in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal’s “Demographic Duo” blog that intermarriage actually declined between 1990 and 2000, the period in which the Jewish establishment was in the midst of a continuity panic attack.
According to Phillips, the National Jewish Population Surveys of 2000 and 1990 measured intermarriage in a “problematic” manner inconsistent with the way “the larger field of demography” measures interracial (and presumably inter-ethnic?) marriage. This, he says, made for misleadingly high intermarriage stats.
The most newsworthy aspect of the piece was buried deep in the story, which dealt, in part, with the disagreement between national Jewish federation officials and leading Jewish demographers over commissioning another national Jewish population study.
With no national Jewish population study in the works, demographers seek to fill the void.
Editor And Publisher
Waltham, Mass. — The last national Jewish population study, done in 2000-2001, was pretty much a disaster.
Sponsored by the North American federation movement — then known as United Jewish Communities and now Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) — the extensive $6 million survey was plagued by cost over-runs, lost data and disagreements among various experts in the field over its methodology and the validity of its conclusions, including the number of Jews in America.
On the eve of the Jewish Federation of North America’s annual General Assembly this year, one might expect the release of a national Jewish population study, since it has been 10 years since the last one appeared.
But there will be no such detailed portrait of the demographics of American Jewry unveiled Nov. 6-8 at the GA in Denver, because in the wake of the controversy over the 2000-2001survey, none was commissioned this time around.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- The American Jewish population is larger than suspected, according to new estimates compiled by Brandeis University.
The suburban Boston university’s Steinhardt Social Research Institute is estimating that there are some 6.5 million people in the United States who are either Jewish by religion or who self-identify as Jewish. The figure represents a 20 percent increase in the number of Jews since 1990.