A Tale of Four Cities: Learning About Jewish Community

Sponsor(s): Ukeles Associates

Principal Investigator(s): Jacob B. Ukeles

Study Dates: 2010 - 2011

Population Estimates:

Please see the reports on each community in the Berman Jewish DataBank archives for details on sampling, interviewing, definition of a Jewish person and a Jewish household and more precise population estimates (estimates below rounded to nearest thousand for ease of comparison). 

The four communities include over 2,000,000 Jewish persons.

  • Baltimore: approximately 93,000 Jewish persons in 42,000 Jewish households (total number of people, including non-Jews, in these households was 108,000).
  • Chicago: 292,000 Jews in 148,000 Jewish households (total people = 382,000).
  • Cleveland: 81,000 Jews in 38,000 Jewish households (total people =  98,000)
  • New York eight-county area: 1,538,000 Jewish persons in 694,000 Jewish households (total number of people  =  1,769,000)
Key Findings:

"A Tale of Four Cities" PowerPoint presentation is a summary and comparison of data by Jacob B. Ukeles, Ph.D. from the recently completed Jewish Community Studies in Baltimore (2010), Chicago (2010), Cleveland (2011) and New York (2011). 

The presentation was originally made at a session of the General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America on November 13, 2012, Baltimore, MD.

The four Jewish communities included just over 2,000,000 Jewish persons.  All four communities experienced growth in their Jewish population since their last community studies, all had similar age structures, and just over half of all Jewish survey respondents were born in the local community. 

Among the topics covered are: (a) similarities and differences in levels of Jewish engagement across segments of the community, (b) the significant impact of the Great Recession on Jewish households in Baltimore, Chicago and Cleveland, (c) general economic vulnerability among a sizeable proportion of the community, and (d) growing numbers of older seniors 75+ plus an aging boomer population.


The four studies included over 10,000 Jewish household (HH) interviews:

  • Baltimore 2010: 1,213 interviews
  • Chicago 2010:   1,993 interviews
  • Cleveland 2011: 1,044 interviews
  • New York 2011: 5,993 interviews
Sample Notes:

For all four studies, sampling, survey interviewing, estimation and data file weighting were provided by SSRS (Social Scicence Research Solutions) of Media, PA.  Analysis of data by Ukeles Associates, Inc. (UAI).

Baltimore study completed under UAI auspice.

Chicago, Cleveland and New York studies completed under auspice of JPAR - Jewish Policy & Action Research, a strategic alliance of UAI and SSRS.

Please see each community's reports for a more complete description of sampling, interviewing, weighting, questionnaires, reports and the researchers for each study.

Study Notes:

The original draft of this PowerPoint comparison and analysis was presented on November 13, 2012 presentation at the meetings of the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in Baltimore, MD.  Session title was: "Ready, Set, Go: Taking Action on Population Study Research."

The PowerPoint comparison of selected results from the four recent Jewish community studies was one part of a broader panel discussion on the implications of the studies for community planning, policy and action in each of the four cities studied.

The GA description of the session read:

"In the absence of a national study, what have we learned from four recent studies of large Jewish communities (Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland and New York)? What trends have national significance and implications for other communities?"

"You'll leave the session with information you can utilize from these studies to inform your planning, models for how communities put data from these studies into action, and information to keep in mind when considering conducting a study in your community."

"Following a panel discussion, breakout groups will focus on doing a population study, using population studies to build community, using population studies for development and using population studies for planning."

Session panelists included Jewish communal professionals and lay leaders from the four communities: (a) Michael Saxon, co-chair, The 2010 Jewish Community Study of Greater Baltimore, sponsored by The ASSOCIATED, Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore; (b) David Rubovits, Senior Vice-President of Planning and Allocations, the Jewish United Fund /Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, which sponsored the 2010 Jewish Community Study of Chicago; (c) Erika Rudin-Luria, Vice-President of Community Development, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, which sponsored the 2011 Jewish Community Study of Cleveland; (d) Dr. Alisa Rubin Kurshan, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Organizational Resources, UJA-Federation of New York which sponsored the 2011 Study of the eight-county New York area served by UJA-Federation of New York (New York City, Long Island and Westchester County);

The General Assembly panel session was moderated by Enid Rosenberg, Community Planning Committee Chair, Jewish Federation of Cleveland.


Language: English


Slide Sets

» A Tale of Four Cities: Slide Set PDF

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