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CMJS In The News

Interfaith Families Study Points Way to Increased Engagement, Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, November 27, 2019

The Chuppah Advantage, Tablet Magazine, November 12, 2019

Looking ahead, with the Community Study as our Guide, Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, November 6, 2019

Gevalt: The American Jewish Population is Expanding! Leonard Saxe, eJewish Philanthropy, October 4, 2019

Beyond Welcoming? Not so Fast, Edmund Case, ejewishphilanthropy, August 13, 2019

Is Intermarriage Really the Demise of Jews in America? Leonard Saxe, Jerusalem Post, August 7, 2019

Meet the Korean-American woman who leads the Jewish Renewal movement, JTA, April 16, 2019

Are young Jewish voters ready to say enough with the Democrats? Jewish News Syndicate, April 8, 2019

‘Jexodus’ is a GOP fantasy. That doesn’t mean Jews will vote Democratic forever. Matthew Boxer, Washington Post, March 22, 2019

Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta Studies Women’s and Girls’ Needs, Atlanta Jewish Times, March 6, 2019

Moving Beyond Flashpoints, The New York Jewish Week, December 26, 2018

Young American Jews walked off their Birthright tour of Israel. The protest sparked a debate at home, Los Angeles Times, December 4, 2018

Interfaith Families Increasingly Jewish, The New York Jewish Week, November 21, 2018

Are Jewish Grandparents a Forgotten Population? Atlanta Jewish Times, November 7, 2018

Study Shows Growth among Young Jewish Families in South Palm Beach County, The Sun Sentinel, November 6, 2018

Small-Town Jews Are Used to Locked Synagogues, The Atlantic, November 2, 2018

Pittsburgh’s Lesson: Hatred Does Not Emerge in a Vacuum, Leonard Saxe, The Conversation, October 30, 2018

The Pew Study, Five Years Later – Leonard Saxe, Judaism Unbound, October 18, 2018

The Vanishing Ivy League Jew, Tablet Magazine, October 15, 2018

Longtime Boston Federation President Barry Shrage Looks Back, Forges Ahead, JNS, August 24, 2018

Why Jewish Giving to Israel is Losing Ground, Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim, The Conversation, August 15, 2018

Religion Looms Large for Education Official in Charge of Civil Rights, The Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2018

Don’t Dismiss Steven Cohen’s Research, Michelle Shain, The NY Jewish Week, July 25, 2018

Gay and African-American Rabbi Wants to Shatter Stereotypes of What a Jew Looks Like, JTA, July 17, 2018

Surveys Explore Jewish Life in South Florida, With Some Surprising Results, South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 1, 2018

How Many Jewish Undergraduates? Leonard Saxe, Michelle Shain, Graham Wright and Shahar Hecht, ejewishphilanthropy, May 22, 2018

Squirrel Hill Faces a Challenge: Can Residents Afford to Live There? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 8, 2018

Jewish Community Studies with Matthew Boxer, Jewish History Matters Podcast, April 22, 2018

Our Favorite Places to Get Jewish and Israeli Food in Seattle, The Stranger, March 28, 2018

Barry Shrage, renowned leader in Jewish community life, to join Brandeis, Brandeis NOW, March 21, 2018

ADL Says Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Students Disagree, The Forward (Opinion), March 5, 2018

Study Finds Millennials Charting Their Own Course, Washington Jewish Week, February 28, 2018

A Leading Indicator: Celebrate the Growth of Region’s Jewish Community, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 25, 2018

Palm Beach Federations Exploring Future of Jewish Families, Community, Sun Sentinel, February 22, 2018 

What Can a Demographic Story Tell Us, Washington Jewish Week, February 22, 2018

Report: Pittsburgh Jewish Community Growing, Spreading Out, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 20. 2018

Pittsburgh Region's Jewish Population is Growing, Prosperous and Moving to Suburbs, Study Finds, TribLive, February 20, 2018

Only 6 Percent of Washington DC’s Booming Jewish Community Identify as Republican, JTA, February 16, 2018

Jobs And Inclusivity: Why The Jewish Population In D.C. Is Now The Third-Largest In The Country, WAMU, February 16, 2018

D.C. Area's Jewish Population is Booming: Now the Third Largest in the Nation, report says, The Washington Post, February 13, 2018

D.C.'s Jewish Population Is Booming-So Why The Empty Pews? The Forward, February 13, 2018

Dueling Narratives Cloud Picture Of Campus Anti-Semitism, The New York Jewish Week, January 10, 2018

Support for Anti-Israel BDS Movement 'Virtually Nonexistent' Among College Students, Study Finds, PJ Media, January 4, 2018

Surprise! Jewish Students *Still* Aren’t Scared on Campus, The Jewish News of Northern California, December 28, 2017

Has Birthright Been Successful? The Forward, Leonard Saxe, December 21, 2017

Survey Finds Students Do Not Support Academic Boycotts of Israel, The Washington Free Beacon, December 21, 2017

What Anti-Semitism On Campus?, The New York Jewish Week, December 18, 2017

Few College Students Want to Boycott Israel, Study of Four Campuses Finds, JTA, December 18, 2017

Anti-Semitism Rare But Anti-Israel Talk Common On Elite Campuses, Study Finds, The Forward, December 14, 2017

Neither Fact nor Fallacy, ejewishphilanthropy, Leonard Saxe and Fern Chertok, September 19, 2017

The One Weird Thing That Birthright And JVP Have In Common, The Forward, September 6, 2017

Are The College Years Too Late For Israel Education?, The New York Jewish Week, August 16, 2017

Some Birthright Participants Fall In Love With Israel, And a Mate, Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2017

Quietly Going Its Own Way, JNF Cuts Off Its Israeli Parent, The Forward, August 3, 2017

We’re Headed Toward One of the Greatest Divisions in the History of the Jewish People,' The Atlantic, July 16, 2017

Suspending the Western Wall Compromise and the Bill on Non-Orthodox Conversion: Implications for the Philanthropy of North American Jewry Toward Israel, Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim and Prof. Hillel Schmid, ejewishphilanthropy, July 3, 2017

‘Vast majority’ of Jewish students are connected to Israel, insists Brandeis prof, Times of Israel, June 28, 2017

Leading Researcher on Campus Jewish Life Rejects Report of ‘Devastating Loss’ of Support for Israel Among Young Jews, Algemeiner, June 23,2017

Letter From Dahlonega, Moment Magazine, May 24, 2017

Current Research, Religion Watch, Volume 32 No. 7, May 2017

Which States Had The Fewest Anti-Semitic Incidents? The Answer May Surprise You, The Forward, April 27, 2017

To Officiate Or Not at Intermarriages, The NY Jewish Week, March 15, 2017 

How I Moved From Chicago to Nashville—And Found My Jewish Soul in a Red State, The Forward, February 16, 2017

To Say 'Never Again,' First Remember, US News and World Report, January 31, 2017

CMJS News Index >>

Recent Research Publications

Politics on the Quad report coverPoints of Entry: Interfaith Families in Pittsburgh
November 2019

This qualitative study describes the experiences and perspectives of members of the burgeoning population of interfaith couples in the Greater Pittsburgh area. The study focused on interfaith households including those that are and are not involved in home-based or communal Jewish life.

Politics on the Quad report coverPolitics on the Quad: Students Report on Division and Disagreement at Five US Universities
November 2019

Drawing on survey data collected from representative samples of undergraduates at five US universities, we explore the political climate on the college campus. How divided are liberal, moderate, and conservative students at each of these five schools with respect to their political attitudes, their perceptions of the campus environment, and their place within the campus community? How does the magnitude and nature of these divisions differ from one campus to the next?

Summer Institute 2018 report coverThe Summer Institute for Israel Studies: 2018 Annual Survey
October 2019

This report represents the 14th year of our on-going evaluation of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies (a project of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies). The Institute seeks to make the study of Israel an ongoing component of the curriculum of higher education. Fellows from the 2004-2017 cohorts were surveyed about their research, teaching, and use of SIIS resources in the academic year 2017-18.  

Sarasota report cover2019 Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Community Study
November 2019

The 2019 Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Community Study provides a detailed socio-demographic portrait of the regional Jewish community and describes community members’ participation in Jewish communal life, their private Jewish activities, and their attitudes about Judaism and Israel.

AJPP databriefAmerican Jewish Population Estimates 2019: Summary and Highlights
October 2019

This data brief summarizes our 2019 estimates of the US Jewish population and describes our data and methodology.  

Birthright, Politics, and Jewish identity report coverIsrael, Politics, and Birthright Israel: Findings from the Summer 2017 Cohort
August 2019

This report assesses Birthright’s effectiveness in providing a balanced educational program to participants from diverse backgrounds. The report examines Birthright’s impact on the summer 2017 cohort’s feelings of connection to Israel, engagement with Israel, and views regarding particular Israeli policies and investigates whether the program’s impact was different for political liberals versus conservatives.

Birthright's Impact on Five Jewish Identity Groups report coverBirthright’s Impact on Five Jewish Identity Groups: Findings from the Summer 2018 Cohort
August 2019

By examining response patterns to questions about Jewish attitudes, the study identified five different types of Jewish identity among the young adults who applied to go on a Birthright trip in summer 2018: Ancestry, Secular Peoplehood, Casual Religious, Connected, and Committed. After sorting applicants into groups corresponding to their Jewish identity type, the study examined the ways in which participants in the different groups were impacted by their Birthright experience.

We'll Cross That Bridge report coverWe’ll Cross That Bridge When We Get To It: Life Stages and the Needs of Interfaith Couples in Greater Boston
August 2019

This qualitative study describes some of the experiences and perspectives of the burgeoning population of interfaith couples in the Greater Boston community and focuses in particular on households with little involvement in home-based or communal Jewish life.

Beyond Welcoming report coverBeyond Welcoming: Engaging Intermarried Couples in Jewish Life
August 2019

“Beyond Welcoming” is the first large-scale study of the marriages and committed relationships of Gen X and millennial Jews, and the first to systematically collect data from non-Jewish partners about their backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. The study was designed with the goal of understanding which programs and policy initiatives would best serve the Jewish community in an era where intermarriage is pervasive and young adults in the United States are distancing themselves from religion and religious institutions.

Birthright and FSU and Germany participantsThe Impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel on Participants from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Germany
June 2019

This study focuses on two groups of Birthright Israel participants: first, those from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and second, Russian-speaking Jews (RSJ) in Germany. It is part of a larger program of research designed to understand the impact of Birthright Israel (known in the FSU and Germany as Taglit) on its participants. The study draws on pre- and post-trip surveys of the summer 2017 cohort from these countries, as well as on a long-term survey of participants from Russia and Ukraine who participated in the program during 2010-14.

Palm Beach Jewish Community Study2018 Greater Palm Beaches Jewish Community Study
May 2019

Conducted on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, the 2018 Greater Palm Beaches Jewish Community Study estimates the size of the Jewish community, describes its demographic characteristics, and examines its attitudes toward community institutions, programs, and services. The report also creates a portrait of the multifaceted cultural, communal, and religious expressions of Judaism that constitute Jewish engagement.

JCC cover

Innovating JCCs
May 2019

The purpose of the Innovating JCCs study was to seek out new ideas in the field and identify ways that Jewish community centers can shift from the traditional model to become successful 21st century agencies. Lessons from the research are relevant not only to JCCs but also to synagogues and other legacy institutions in the Jewish community.

Brandeis 2018Race, Community, and Belonging: Revisiting Student Concerns at Brandeis University
February 2019

This report is part of our program of research on ethnic and religious identity among US college students. The report follows up an earlier survey of the Brandeis campus in 2016. Repeating the survey in 2018 allowed us to examine the ways in which campus environments and intergroup relations change over time and and determine whether the same issues continued to dominate campus conversation. 

South Palm Beach County Jewish Community Study2018 South Palm Beach County Jewish Community Study
November 2018

Conducted on behalf of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, the 2018 South Palm Beach County Jewish Community Study was developed to help communal leaders, planners, and residents better understand the size and character of their community. Interviews with over 2,100 Jewish households residing in South Palm Beach County form the basis of the report.

Maccabiah reportBuilding Jewish Pride Through Sports: An Evaluation of the Impact of Competing in the World Maccabiah Games
November 2018

The Maccabiah Games attract thousands of Jewish athletes from around the world to Israel every four years. As part of the Maccabiah experience, Maccabi USA organizes a seven day educational-cultural travel program in Israel for US athletes prior to the athletic competition. Called “Israel Connect,” this program is designed to strengthen athletes’ Jewish identities and instill in them the passion and knowledge necessary to advocate for Israel. This study examines the athletes’ reactions to the seven-day program as well as the extent to which the entire Maccabiah experience altered the Jewish trajectories of the US Jewish athletes who participated.

Time for Good Time for Good in Action: Implementation and Potential Outcomes
December 2017

This report evaluates UJA-Federation of New York’s Time for Good/Jewish Service Enterprise Initiative (TFG/JSEI). Designed to build the capacity of communal organizations to productively work with volunteers, the study explores the implementation of this initiative and its initial impact, as perceived by organizations and volunteers from the first two cohorts of participating agencies. 

Shalom LearningBringing Educational Technology into Supplementary Jewish Education: Evaluation of ShalomLearning
April 2018

ShalomLearning was launched in 2011 as a supplementary Jewish education curriculum that combines a values-based, spiral curriculum for grades two through seven, with a blended educationapproach that integrates classroom time with offsite online learning. This two-year study of ShalomLearning evaluates the program's implementation and outcomes.

Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study

The 2017 Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study
February 2018

The 2017 Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study provides a detailed socio-demographic portrait of the Pittsburgh-area Jewish community and describes community members' participation in Jewish communal life, their private Jewish activities, and their attitudes about Judaism and Israel. 

DC reportThe 2017 Greater Washington Jewish Community Demographic Study
February 2018

The 2017 Greater Washington Jewish Community Demographic Study provides an up-to-date description of the size and character of DC-area Jewish adults, children, and households. Interviews with over 6,600 Jewish households residing in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Suburban Maryland form the basis of the report.

4 schools reportThe Limits of Hostility: Students Report on Antisemitism and Anti-Israel Sentiment at Four US Universities
December 2017

This report is part of a program of research focusing on undergraduates and their perceptions and experiences of antisemitism and anti-Israel hostility on US campuses. The study examines four institutions, Brandeis University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and draws on survey data collected in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years from representative samples of undergraduates (both Jewish and non-Jewish) at these schools.

Jewish Futures LT Wave 5Beyond 10 days: Parents, Gender, Marriage, and the Long-term Impact of Birthright Israel
December 2017

The report presents findings from the 5th wave of a longitudinal study of several thousand Jewish young adults who applied to Birthright between 2001 and 2009 and includes an analysis of the ways in which Birthright’s impact manifests in different subgroups: those with one versus two Jewish parents, those whose sole Israel experience was a Birthright trip, participants who are single versus partnered, and men versus women.

Collier County Jewish Community Study

2017 Collier County Jewish Community Study
October 2017

In 2017, the Jewish Federation of Collier County sponsored the first-ever representative sample survey of the Jewish community of Naples, Florida, and the surrounding area. The study includes a population estimate; findings on the demography, ritual behavior, affiliations, volunteer activities, and geographic profile of the population; and descriptions of the various ways community members participate in Jewish life.

Boston Young Adults Cover

The 2015 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study found that young adults make up almost one-quarter of the local Jewish population. This report, based on 50 new interviews with young adults and key informants and reanalysis of the 2015 data, creates a fuller portrait of Jewish young adults living in Cambridge, Somerville, and Jamaica Plain and, in particular, those who are marginally or not at all involved in Jewish life.

Summer Institute Israel Studies 2016

The Summer Institute for Israel Studies 2016
April 2017

This report represents the 12th year of our on-going evaluation of the Summer Institute for Israel Studies (a project of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies). The Institute seeks to make the study of Israel an ongoing component of the curriculum of higher education. Researchers observed sessions during the two-week program held at Brandeis University, spoke informally with Fellows, and conducted a survey with the 2004-15 cohorts.

Boston Community Study2015 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study
November 2016

The 2015 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study provides an up-to-date description of the size and character of Boston-area Jewry. Included in the study are demographic findings, information on the religious background and geographic profile of Greater Boston’s Jewish population as well as descriptions of participation in Jewish life and volunteer activities. 

OfficiationUnder the Chuppah: Rabbinic Officiation and Intermarriage
October 2016

This report explores several essential questions about the relationship between Jewish clergy officiation and intermarried couples' trajectories of Jewish engagement. The analyses explore differences between three groups of couples: inmarried couples, intermarried couples who had a sole Jewish officiant (i.e., no non-Jewish co-officiant), and intermarried couples who married under other auspices.

AntisemitismHotspots of Antisemitism and Anti-Israel Sentiment on US Campuses
October 2016

This report is based on findings from a 2016 survey of Jewish undergraduates at 50 US campuses. Identifying campuses where antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment are especially acute, the study also looks at the particular manifestations of hostility at different campuses and the ways in which these climates influence the lives of Jewish students.

UPenn reportDiversity, Pressure, and Divisions on the University of Pennsylvania Campus
October 2016

This report is the second in a series of reports of select campuses and focuses on the University of Pennsylvania. Based on a survey of both Jewish and non-Jewish students, the study explores the intersection of racial, ethnic, and religious identities, gender, and sexual orientation, intergroup interactions, experiences of discrimination, and feelings of safety and belonging on campus in the context of the larger campus climate.

American Jewish Population ProjectNew US Jewish Population Estimates
Updated September 2016

Since 2005, SSRI researchers have been collecting data from hundreds of nationally representative surveys in order to provide one of the most comprehensive, independent sources of data on the Jewish community in the United States. The latest release from the American Jewish Population Project provides new population estimates for the continental United States, its states, metropolitan areas, and counties and new data on the political identification and political views of Jewish adults.

Israel FellowsIsrael Face to Face: Evaluation of the Israel Fellows Program
September 2016

This study is an evaluation of the Israel Fellows Program, a program designed to promote engagement with Israel through the placement of young adult Fellows on college campuses. Piloted on six college campuses in 2003, IFP has grown to 75 Fellows serving almost 100 campuses throughout North America. 

All Together SeparateAll Together Separate: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion on the Brandeis Campus
May 2016

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
May 2016

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.

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