Founded in 1980, the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS), is a multi-disciplinary research center dedicated to bringing the concepts, theories, and techniques of social science to bear on the study of contemporary Jewish life. Core topics concern the development of ethnic and religious identities and their attendant personal, communal, and societal outcomes. Our research incorporates cutting-edge methodologies and strives to be rigorous and transparent. In this fashion, we hope to contribute to scholarly understanding of American Jewry and Jewish institutions and provide policy-relevant analysis.
Faculty and staff include distinguished researchers, several of whom have appointments and affiliations with Brandeis academic departments. The senior research staff are trained in community psychology, social psychology, sociology, and social policy. As scholars, our interests are broad; as methodologists we strive to use and, where needed, generate the best approaches to complex questions. Projects are conducted by multi-disciplinary teams, and the results of our research appear in a variety of scholarly, professional, and popular publications.
CMJS is the managing entity for the Institute for Jewish Philanthropy and Leadership and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute and is a unit of Brandeis' Lown School for Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.