A Population Study of the Jewish Community of Greater Springfield 1967

Sponsor(s): Jewish Community Council of Springfield

Principal Investigator(s): Sidney Goldstein

Study Dates: October 1966 - January 1967

Population Estimates: 3,344 Jewish households, and 10,760 people lived in these Jewish households in 1967.
Key Findings: The Springfield Jewish community closely resembles the patterns in other Jewish communities of its size in the 1960s.
  • Jews in Springfield were strongly connected to Jewish life and Jewish identity, as reflected in high membership rates in synagogues, a high proportion of the population affiliating with one or more Jewish organizations, continued high rates of Jewish-dominated friends and social interaction within the home, and continued adherence to selected Jewish religious practices.

  • In addition, relatively low rates of intermarriage characterized those residents still residing in the community, although some evidence of much higher rates of intermarriage among younger people moving away from the community indicated an issue fore the future.

  • However, the survey does point clearly to a continuing high level of identification with Judaism and the Jewish community among younger Jews, given the relatively high proportions of younger persons who either have already had or are currently receiving a Jewish education.

  • The very strong reaction by the Jewish population of Greater Springfield to the crises resulting from the 1967 Six Day War in Israel is cited in the study as strong evidence of the quality of the identification of individual Jews with the larger Jewish community.

  • Survey data (in-person lengthy interviews) include detailed demographic analyzes of the Springfield Jewish community, including age, sex, nativity and generation, household size and composition, marriage patterns, fertility, education, labor force participation, migration, health status, home ownership and housing needs, and veteran status.

  • Several chapters discuss Jewish connections: religious identification, synagogue membership, Jewish education, Israel, languages spoken at home, religious practices in the home and intermarriage.
Sample: Jewish Households in Greater Springfield, MA

Sample Size: 862 household units interviewed in-person by volunteer interviewers; approximately 90% of sample completed the interview.

Sample Notes: Although the master list of the Jewish Community Council was the basis for the sample, the committee tried to expand it beyond the Jewish Community Council list. Respondents were asked to list any new Jewish families who had moved into the Springfield area within the last year; in addition, households with distinctive Jewish names in local telephone directories were also added to the potential sample.

Methodological issues and the field work process described in detail in the final report.

The Interview Schedule begins on page 199 of the Data Bank PDF.

Data analysis based upon geographic weight adjustments: "In the tabulation of the results of the survey, appropriate weights were applied to the data from each area to insure its proper representation in the combined results for Greater Springfield."

Data file is not available.


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