The 2009 Survey of Jewish Communal Professionals

Sponsor(s): Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner (BJPA), Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA)

Principal Investigator(s): Steven M. Cohen

Study Dates: Data collected via Internet survey using Qualtrics survey software and viral letter requesting cooperation and dissemination in Fall, 2009.

Report issued October, 2010.

Key Findings:

"The 2009 Survey of Jewish Communal Service Professionals" explored several key issues:


Who are the professionals who work for Jewish communal organizations today?What are their views, concerns and experiences these days?

How have they fared in the midst of the recent economic downturn?

Major survey findings summarized in the project report: "Profiling the Professionals: Who's Serving Our Community."


97% of survey respondents were Jewish.About a quarter attended Jewish day school (roughly twice the average in the Jewish population at large).Almost two thirds attended Jewish camp, and even more participated in Jewish youth groups.Most participated in a Hillel-like experience in college; six-of-ten had taken a college-level Jewish Studies courseIsrael travel: 93% had been to Israel at least once.As a group, the professionals' age distribution is almost uniformly distributed from the low 20s through age 64, with a significant drop-off after age 65; the median age is 48 years old.Women make up about two-thirds of all Jewish communal professionals.Over two thirds (69%) are married, and most of the others have never been married; of those who are married, the vast majority (89%) are in-married.The median income for these professionals is about $78,000, and their mean income reaches $89,000.Women significantly trail men in compensation, with an overall gap of $28,000. Holding constant age, years in the field, level of responsibility, hours worked, and degrees earned, women's salaries trail men's by about $20,000.

The economic downturn affected younger workers, those who recently entered the job.

Despite high levels of Jewish connections, younger professionals display lower levels of Jewish collective identities than their elders - - even though the younger group is just as Jewishly involved in other ways, and even though the younger group experienced more frequent and more diverse Jewish educational experiences.


Dr. Cohen believes that commitment to the Jewish collective (peoplehood, Israel, communities, family) is in decline in the general Jewish population, and communal professionals are no exception to this general tendency.

Dr. Cohen concludes that the critical, influential and strategic position of the young professionals for the current and future of Jewish life in North America makes their views both potent and critical for the Jewish future. Their diminished enthusiasm for Jewish Peoplehood, Israel, and in-marriage demands attention and contention.


Jewish Communal Professionals working in the United States and Canada.

Sample Size: 2,435

Sample Notes:

Data file contains the responses of 2,435 eligible respondents to the Internet survey.


There were an additional 196 respondents who were defined as ineligible for the survey because they were retired or did not live in the US or Canada; these cases have been excluded from this data file by Dr. Cohen.

Data are not weighted.

Study Notes: Summary of answers to questions included in the Frequencies document for the 2,435 eligible survey respondents.

Researchers using the data file can use a few of the frequencies to check that the file has been downloaded successfully.


Survey Reports

» Main Report

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

» Frequencies

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File

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