people at a museum

Welcome to the Cohen Center

All Together SeparateAll Together Separate: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion on the Brandeis Campus
This study is part of a program of research focusing on the identities of Jewish students and their experiences of anti-Israel hostility on campuses. Using Brandeis University as a case study, this study takes a broad view and explores a wide range of issues at the intersections of undergraduates’ racial, ethnic, and religious identities. 

Nashville2015 Nashville and Middle Tennessee Jewish Community Study
This community study documents a slowly but steadily growing community of Jews. At its core, the Jewish community of Nashville and Middle Tennessee is comprised of a small, tight-knit group of highly involved individuals who participate in many aspects of Jewish life.

Millennial Children of Intermarriage

Millennial Children of Intermarriage: Touchpoints and Trajectories of Jewish Engagement 
October 2015

This study is the first comprehensive assessment to examine the religious upbringing, college experiences, and current attitudes and practices of millennial children of intermarriage, a cohort that currently comprises nearly half of the young adult Jewish population.

Israel LiteracyThe Israel Literacy Measurement Project: 2015 Report
October 2015

The Israel Literacy Measurement Project is an attempt to create a valid and reliable measure of knowledge of Israel. Drawing on definitions of literacy in other social science disciplines and in consultation with subject experts, the research team developed a test bank that can be used with college-aged young adults to assess the extent and content of their Israel-related knowledge. 

SIIS 2015

The Summer Institute for Israel Studies: 2015
October 2015

The Brandeis University Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS) prepares university faculty members to teach about Israel within the frameworks of their own disciplines.  To date, the Institute has educated almost 250 college and university faculty members to teach about Israel. In the 11th year of its on-going evaluation of SIIS, CMJS observed sessions during the program, spoke informally with fellows, and conducted a survey with the 2004-14 cohorts regarding the impact of the program on teaching, scholarship, and related activities.

Israel Studies DirectoryIsrael Studies Directory: 2013-14 Report Update
September 2015

To help inform educational opportunities about Israel, CMJS continues to track the development of Israel studies at 316 colleges and universities in the United States. Among other findings, the report documents a13% increase in Israel-focused courses and a 22% increase in Israel-related courses between the years 2008-09 and 2013-14.

Antisemitism on campus

Antisemitism on the college campus: Perceptions and realities 
July 2015

In the wake of the Israel-Hamas war in summer 2014, US and Canadian college campuses were the settings for many anti-Israel activities, including the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. This study attempts to understand the extent of hostility toward Israel and antisemitism on North American campuses and  assess the relationship between these trends and Jewish students’ support for and connection to Israel.

Israel at War

Discovering Israel at War: The Impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel in Summer 2014
February 2015

Nearly 25,000 North American young Jews participated in Taglit-Birthright Israel, just prior and during the 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza. The study assesses participants’ experiences and compares their views of Israel to similar others who applied, but did not participate. As previous studies have found, Taglit has powerful effects on participants.

SeattleThe 2014 Greater Seattle Jewish Community Study
January 2015

The study documents the recent, rapid growth of the Seattle Jewish community and engagement of its members. Seattle is distinguished by having a broad set of communal institutions that engage the population in Jewish life, while also being home to a large number of secular and non-religious Jews. 

Summer InstituteThe Summer Institute for Israel Studies: The First Decade and Looking Ahead
December 2014

Summer 2014 marked the beginning of the second decade of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies (SIIS) that prepares faculty members from around the world to design and teach courses about Israel. The report documents the impact of the program on participants and their teaching about Israel. 


Pew’s portrait of American Jewry: A reassessment of the assimilation narrative
October 2014
In A. Dashefsky & I. Sheskin (Eds.), American Jewish Year Book 2014 (Vol. 114, pp. 71-81). New York: Springer International Publishing.
Leonard Saxe, Theodore Sasson, Janet Krasner Aronson

The findings of the 2013 Pew Center report, A Portrait of Jewish Americans, have been characterized as documenting the decline of American Jewry. But the study actually shows substantial growth in the size of the Jewish population and considerable stability in engagement with Jewish life. This chapter reassesses our understanding of American Jews.


JEWISH FUTURES PROJECT. The Impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel: Marriage and Family
September 2014

The fourth wave of the Jewish Futures Project, a longitudinal study of Jewish young adults, includes an expanded number of panelists with families. This change in the panel composition allows for additional new analyses including patterns related to marriage and child rearing, and an examination of applicant subgroups such as children of intermarried parents.

Additional Recent Publications