"Survey Says" [2014]: The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey

Principal Investigator(s): The Melior Group

Study Dates: June 2, 2014 - July 7, 2014

Population Estimates:

The 2014 survey of the Jewish community of Northern New Jersey was completed for the Northern New Jersey Federation by The Melior Group as a market research study.

The report does not provide an estimate of the Jewish population of the study areas, but notes that the Steinhardt Institute American Jewish Population Estimates: 2012 (Brandeis University) and US census data were used to weight the survey data (weighting details not provided). 


Key Findings:

The Final Report of the 2014 study of the Jewish community for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey includes a total of 252 slides with a wealth of information.  Topics covered include two sections of the study's background ("Introduction" and "Demographics of the Survey Population") and eight sections covering key areas of Jewish connections - - Jewish identity and engagement, perceptions of local Jewish organizations, programs and activities, social services, information services, volunteering, philanthropy and "advice for Jewish community leaders."  

Most of the data in these sections is based primarily on an Internet survey of 2,815 Jewish households residing in Bergen, Passaic. Morris and Hudson Counties.

A final section on "Conclusions and Recommendations" (slides 196-203) combines the survey data results with qualitative insights by The Melior Group gathered from 18 in-depth interviews with important funders of the Federation (which preceded the quantitative survey).  

Among the critical themes noted in the conclusion section is:

♦ Significant diversity within the Jewish community, which is positive in many ways but which also contributes to the "...distinct lack of a sense of Jewish community that pervades the area"

♦ The tension between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox segments of the community "...is deep and palpable and needs to be bridged if Jews are to come together as a true community."

♦ The South Bergen area (especially Teaneck/Bergenfield) and East Bergen are the core of the community in many ways, with a larger proportion in these areas strongly connected to being Jewish.

♦ But Wayne County Jewish respondents feel deserted by the Federation, and "...South Hudson (a young and growing community)..." feels it needs more Federation and community support than it is currently receiving."  

♦ Many segments of the Jewish community of Northern New Jersey feel "on the margins" of the community.



The Databank suggests that readers consider reading the introductory sections of the slide show (slides 1-42), then "fast-forward" to  the conclusions and implications section (slides 196-203), and then return to the quantitative narrative analysis of Jewish connections of survey respondents (slides 43-195).  

Additional tabular analyses are presented (often with a geographic perspective) in a series of Appendices from slides 204-252 which focus on demographics, Jewish identity and engagement, perceptions of local organizations, programs and activities and volunteering/philanthropy.



Survey of 2,815 Jewish adults was conducted mostly by multiple waves on the Internet from June 2, 2014 through July 7, 2014); a total of 2,563 interviews were completed via the Internet, while another 252 were completed by telephone calls to numbers on a purchased list of "possible" Jewish households from June 16 to June 26,2014.  

Survey data were weighted by The Melior Group to "address the issues of over-response in areas of high Jewish concentration and under-response in other areas/segments. The data was weighted using county and age population estimates contained in the Steinhardt Institute American Jewish Population Estimates: 2012 (Brandeis University) and the US census data as a base..." (No details provided in report).

The surveying was based on non-probability sampling methods.

Geographic Weighting Adjustments:

The results of the weighting adjusted the geographic response patterns somewhat:  

♦ Slide 15 of the Final Report indicates that while the unweighted number of interviews in Bergen County accounted for 81% of all interviews, the percentage of interviews after weighting was 73%.  

♦ Passaic/Morris Counties (on the other hand) were increased from 12% of the unweighted interviews to 18% of the weighted interviews, while Hudson County was increased from 7% to 9%.

DataBank users note:  All numbers and percentages reported after the initial slide 15 weighting adjustment discussion appear to be the weighted numbers and proportions. For example, the numbers presented on Slide 17 by geographic subdivision apparently reflect the weighted percentages by geographic sub-area,not the original interview numbers.  A total of 2,055 interviews are noted for Bergen County (73% of the 2,815 total); another 506 are reported for Passaic and Morris Counties (18% of the total), and 254 for Hudson County (9% of the total).  These percentages match the weighted proportions on Slide 15.

Age adjustments.

Slide 15 also shows that the weighting system increased the proportion of younger respondents under age 35 from 5% of the unweighted interviews to 22% of the weighted interviews -  and decreased the proportion of respondents aged 65-74 from 22% unweighted to 12% weighted.

Sample Size: 2,815

Sample Notes:

The survey included Bergen County, Passaic/Morris Counties and Hudson County, reflecting the Federation's service area following the 2004 merger of the Bergen County and North New Jersey Federations into the combined Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey.  


Study Notes:

As in all survey research, interpretations of survey findings should be made within the context of the sampling methods.  Surveys that do not contain probability sampling methods may over-represent more engaged segments of the local population and under-represent the less engaged, even after weighting adjustments are made.   

The survey was preceded by two other research phases: (1) in-depth interviews over the phone by The Melior Group with 5 "highly valued JFNNJ donors" initially invited to participate by JFNNJ staff between April 7 and April 28, 2014, and (2) The Melior Group moderated an online bulletin board focus group with 13 Jewish individuals who live in the Federation area from April 9 and April 10 (24-hour bulletin board).  These preliminary phases provided background for the survey and significant insights into the Northern New Jersey Jewish community which were not necessarily consonant with the survey data.



Language: English


Slide Sets

» Survey Says: 2014 Northern New Jersey Jewish Federation Survey Report

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Survey Says: 2014 Northern New Jersey Survey Questionnaire

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