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Crowd from above forming a growth graph with lines connecting between them to show how COVID-19 can expand. Photo Credit: istockphoto.com/Orbon Alija

Building Knowledge of Contemporary Jewry

The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies incorporates the latest social science techniques in the study of contemporary Jewish life. The Steinhardt Social Research Institute develops reliable quantitative data about the US Jewish population.

Collage of report covers

Local Jewish Community Studies

Using cutting-edge social science methods, we collect, analyze, and report accurate and actionable data that informs community planning and helps animate Jewish life.

Maps in muted colors, overlaid text reads AJPP, State, County, Metro, Demographics

US Jewish Population Estimates

Our American Jewish Population Project includes a detailed interactive map of the US Jewish population with demographic profiles and political views of Jewish adults for states, metropolitan areas, and counties in the United States.

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Birthright Israel Research

Our research on Birthright Israel employs rigorous methods to evaluate Birthright's short-term and long-term impact on Jewish young adults.

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Evaluation Research

From studies of Hillel to synagogues and Jewish camp, we document the impact of core programs and initiatives on Jewish community life.

October 31, 2023. The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies is conducting a series of studies to understand how American Jews are reacting to the Israel-Hamas war. This study is lead by Prof. Leonard Saxe, the Director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. We have been contacting individuals by text message and by email. Invitations were sent to individuals who applied or went on Birthright. If you have any questions about this study please call 781-736-3821 or email isrlstudy@brandeis.edu

Recent Research Publications

Hotspots of antisemitism report cover

December 2023

The report describes Jewish students’ perceptions of antisemitism on 51 US college campuses in the wake of the Hamas-Israel war. The report includes our rankings of these schools by the level of antisemitic hostility perceived by Jewish students. We also explore the different forms of antisemitism experienced by Jewish students at these schools (including antisemitism related to criticism of Israel), their levels of concern about antisemitism from different sides of the political spectrum, and the extent to which they see hostility to Israel as emanating from students, faculty, or administrators. The report also examines how antisemitic hostility may be affecting Jewish students’ safety and sense of belonging on their campus.

Maccabiah 2022 report cover

January 2024

The Maccabiah Games, which have taken place in Israel nearly every four years since 1932, draw thousands of Jewish athletes from around the world to compete for their respective countries, develop connections with their peers, and deepen their relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. For the US delegation, the Maccabiah experience is accompanied by a multi-day educational and cultural travel program called “Israel Connect,” which is designed to strengthen athletes’ Jewish identities and knowledge of and connection to Israel. This report follows up on our earlier 2018 study and focuses on the athletes who applied to compete in the U16/U18 and in the Open divisions of the 2022 Maccabiah Games in Israel. In addition to examining the impact of participating in the Maccabiah on athletes’ connections to Israel, their Jewish peers, and the Jewish people, the report aims to evaluate how the challenges identified in the 2018 study were addressed in the 2022 program.

San Diego Jewish community study report cover

November 2023

A Blueprint for our Future: The 2022 San Diego Jewish Community Study  provides important data about the San Diego Jewish community that can be used by communal organizations and their leadership to design programs and policies that support and enhance Jewish life. This report is based on data collected from 2,104 Jewish households in San Diego between June and September 2022. Survey respondents were randomly selected from all households in Greater San Diego.