Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Founded in 1980, the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS), is a multi-disciplinary research center that incorporates the latest concepts, theories, and techniques of social science in the study of contemporary Jewish life.

Research areas include Jewish education, Israel, synagogues, and socio-demography. Within each research areas, are a number of projects that contribute to scholarly and policy-relevant research on the US Jewish community.

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. Projects are conducted by multi-disciplinary teams, and the results of our research appear in a variety of scholarly, professional, and popular publications.

Steinhardt Social Research Institute

CMJS is the managing entity for the Steinhardt Social Research Institute. The Steinhardt Social Research Institute develops reliable and valid quantitative data about the American Jewish community.

SSRI supports two linked socio-demographic projects. The American Jewish Population Project (AJPP) represents the first application of meta-analysis in Jewish social science research. AJPP synthesizes current data from nationally representative surveys of the US population to produce estimates of the Jewish population by religion within the United States.

SSRI also conducts socio-demographic studies of local Jewish communities. Our community studies are closely related to AJPP and data from our national Jewish population dataset are used to develop estimates of local populations. The studies are distinguished both by sophisticated methodology and by our willingness and capacity to adapt our methods to address communities’ specific questions.

The Steinhardt Social Research Institute was established in 2005 through a generous gift from Michael Steinhardt, chairman of the Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation.