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1990 Jewish Population Study of Greater Columbus

Sponsor(s): Columbus Jewish Federation

Principal Investigator(s): Frank Mott, Susan Mott

Population Estimates: Report estimates that in 1990 there were approximately 16,600 Jewish persons in the Columbus area in 8,300 Jewish households. An additional 4,900 non-Jews resided in these households.

Of these 16,600 Jewish persons, 15,600 of them lived in Franklin County.

Key Findings:
  • Approximately 2.3% of Franklin County households include a Jewish member;

  • Half of all Jewish households live in the traditional Jewish areas on the East Side of Columbus; since most Jewish services exist on the East Side, service implications are challenging for the 51% who live outside the traditional Jewish residential areas;

  • 46% of Jewish households are synagogue affiliated; 75% of Jews attend Passover Seders, 70% light Hanukah candles, 63% fast on Yom Kippur, 20% regularly light Shabbat candles, and 12% buy kosher meat;

  • Just under half (45%) of currently married Jewish respondents are intermarried; 44% of children in intermarried households are being raised as Jews;

  • Columbus is one of the highest secular educated Jewish communities in the USA; over half of employed individuals work in a professional occupation;

  • About 80% of Jewish population had some Jewish education as a child/teen, and about half of children currently being raised Jewish are receivng a Jewish education;

  • 7% of Jewish respondents identify as Orthodox, 32% Conservative, 41% Reform, and 21% consider self Jewish but do not identify with a denomination; 21% were raised as Orthodox, compared to the 7% in 1990;

  • One-out-of-three Jewish persons has been to Israel; about 40% made a contribution to the Jewish CommUNITY Campaign;

  • Compared to 1969 study, which was Federation List based, the Jewish community is larger, is more dispersed geographically, is more likely to be Reform and less likely to be Orthodox identified, is better educated and more likely to be employed in a profession.

Sample: Adult Jewish Households in the Greater Columbus, Ohio area: Franklin County and surrounding areas.

Sample Size: 757 Jewish household interviews; 153 RDD (random digit dialed) and 604 randomly selected interviews from the Federation List. All interviews completed with Jewish households by February 1990.

Sample Notes: RDD Screening phase lasted from February/March 1989 through June 1989; 12,502 randomly selected households were interviewed in Franklin County, Ohio. Both Jewish and non-Jewish households were interviewed; the proportion of Jewish (2.3%) vs. non-Jewish households was used as the basis of Jewish household and population estimates for Franklin County. Individuals defined as Jewish if they considered themselves Jewish, and/or were born Jewish, and/or were raised Jewish. Methodology section in Main Report (chapter 2) describes estimation process in detail based on RDD in Franklin County, as well as methodology for estimating the approximately 1,000 Jewish persons in the surrounding areas.

Detailed interviews with Jewish household were completed from Fall 1989 to February, 1990. All RDD-defined Jewish households that could be recontacted were re-interviewed (apparently 153 interviews of 292 initially identified Jewish HH in the RDD screening phase completed the main "Jewish" survey - a percentage comparable to the 1990 NJPS two-stage interviewing process). The 604 non-RDD Jewish household interviews were randomly completed from a comprehensive list of households prepared by the Columbus Jewish Federation.


Survey Reports

» Main Report

» Summary Report

» Philanthropy Report

» Hebrew Education Report

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File

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