The 2002 Tucson Jewish Community Study

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Study Dates: January, 2002

Population Estimates:

The 2002 Jewish Community Study estimated that there are 22,300 Jewish persons living in 13,400 Jewish residential households in Tucson. An additional 6,300 non-Jews live in these households, 22% of the total of 28,600 people living in Jewish households.

Key Findings:

The 13,400 Jewish households in Tucson represents an 11% increase in the number of Jewish households in Tucson from 1994.Jewish households constitute 3.9% of the 345,800 households in Tucson. The 28,600 people in Jewish households constitute 3.3% of the 854,127 census estimates) people living in Tucson.The 2002 Report indicated that the size of the Jewish community in Tucson was expected to increase in the future, since 48% of all Jewish households had moved to Tucson within the 10 years preceding the study (see the discussion of the 2006 Update Report under "Study Notes").39% of all people in Jewish households are children under the age of 18, while 23% of all people in Jewish households are seniors aged 65 and over.32% of Jewish respondents identify as Reform Jews, 21% as conservative, 44% as just Jewish, 2% as Orthodox, and 2% as Reconstructionist.20% of survey respondents report never attend religious services, 18% attend services only for special occasions, 21% attend only on the high holidays, 20% attend a few times per year, and 21% attend services once per month or more.32% of respondents report congregation membership and 17% belong to the Tucson JCC.In regards to traditional Jewish ritual observance, 61% always/usually attend a Passover Seder, 68% always/usually light Chanukah candles, and 17% always/usually light Sabbath candles.46% of currently married couples were intermarried, 8% of current marriages were conversionary in-marriages, and 46% of current marriages were in-marriages between two born Jews (see report for definitions).There are many more children living in intermarried Jewish households in Tucson as there are in households where both partners are Jewish; 63% of all children in Tucson Jewish households have intermarried parents.In intermarried households, only 45% of children are being raised Jewish, while 26% of children in intermarried households are being raised both Jewish and in another religion.

34% of all Jewish households report donations to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. 6% of all Jewish households reported donations to other Jewish federations, and 47% reported donations to other Jewish charities.


Jewish Households in Tucson, defined as most of Pima County, Arizona. Geographic areas included in the study consist of the West/Northwest, North East, Central, South East, Green Valley, other areas of Pima County, Santa Cruz County, and the Sierra Vista

Sample Size: 805 Jewish household telephone interviews in Pima County.

Sample Notes:

This study utilized a telephone survey with a random digit dialing (RDD) sample, supplemented with a Distinctive Jewish Name (DJN) sample taken from the current telephone directory covering the area. Of the 805 telephone interviews conducted, 300 interviews came from the RDD sample, and 505 interviews came from the DJN sample.


A household deemed eligible for inclusion in the study was one that contained at least one person who either was currently Jewish or was born or raised Jewish. Any respondent aged 18 or over who identified himself/herself is Jewish was interviewed. In households containing non-Jewish members, the Jewish member was interviewed, if possible, because some questions were not applicable to non-Jews. Of the 805 interviews, 6.5% of the respondents were not Jewish, typically, the non-Jewish spouse of a Jewish adult.

The data file contains the weight "WF" (weight factor) which represents two different sets of weights which were sequentially applied to the data. First, weights were applied based upon the existence of multiple telephone numbers in the household. Second, weights were added based on demographic factors to adjust for biases that were introduced by DJN sampling. The RDD sample was compared to the DJN sample on a number of key variables; since these samples differed significantly on the age of the head of household and by type of marriage, Dr. Sheskin added weighting factors to make the DJN sample resemble the RDD sample.

In the data file, using the "WF" factor reduces the weighted N to 711. The data are not weighted to extrapolate to the number of Jewish households in the study area.  For projection estimate procedures, see the SPSS Syntax file for projections and estimates.

Study Notes:

The 2006 update study involved no new telephone interviewing, but did include counts of DJN households from telephone directories by zip code for 2006. The Update Report found a small, but significant decrease in the Jewish population of Tucson.

The new population estimates were based on calculating a ratio between the RDD estimate of Jews from the 2002 Jewish community study of Southern Arizona and the number of households with a DJN in the 2002 telephone directory and applying this ratio to the DJN count from the 2006 telephone directory.

Dr. Sheskin noted that much of the overall decrease was due to a decrease in the number of DJN households in zip 85719, which contains the University of Arizona. The decrease in the DJN count for this zip code was most likely due to the changing culture of University students from 2002-2006, with many students who had previously had land lines now being cell-phone-only households. Thus, this update concluded that despite the apparent decrease in DJN households in Tucson in the past four years, the Jewish population probably did not change significantly. As a result, the 2002 Jewish persons estimate was not changed.