Taking a Closer Look at our Community

Greater Boston's Jewish community is constantly growing and evolving. That's why every 10 years, since 1965, CJP has commissioned an in-depth study to understand our challenges, identify new opportunities and learn where support is needed.

The 2015 Greater Boston Community Study is officially underway, with the direction of the CJP Community Study Task Force, co-chaired by Cindy Janower and Chris Winship. The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) at Brandeis University is once again conducting the research.

“This is the sixth demographic study we’ve undertaken,” says Barry Shrage, president of CJP. “We’re proud to be the longest-running Jewish Federation in the country to regularly survey its community. We rely on the results of these rigorous research studies to give us a rich snapshot of our community. The information has been incredibly useful to CJP, to our social service agencies, organizations, day schools and congregations, as well as the national research community. It provides the foundation that helps us plan our strategy for the future.”

As our Jewish community becomes increasingly diverse, new research methods and broad participation are critical to generate a representative sample that accurately portrays the current community. The research team is reaching out to more than 350 local and national Jewish organizations to gather their lists of constituents living in the Greater Boston area.

The lists will be merged into a database at the CMJS at Brandeis. Sample groups will be chosen at random and contacted by phone or email to participate in a survey. As in the past, lists will not, under any circumstances, be shared with anyone outside of the research team at Brandeis.  To ensure privacy, the list data is destroyed after the survey.

The study will look at the entire Jewish community and will deeply analyze subpopulations, including young adults, families with young and school-aged children, interfaith couples and families, baby boomers and seniors.  The survey addresses topics such as the impact of social connections and networks, attitudes about Jewish education, economic vulnerability, Israel and much more.

The research is slated to begin in March, and the results of the 2015 Greater Boston Community Study will be released in early 2016.

Learn more about how CMJS is conducting the study and how the lists will be used. Additional questions? Please contact Kimberlee Schumacher, CJP Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at kimberlees@cjp.org.


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