2022 Delaware and Brandywine Valley Jewish Community Study
Matthew Boxer, Matthew A. Brookner, Adina Bankier-Karp, Alicia Chandler, Adam Martin, Raquel Magidin de Kramer, Ilana Friedman, Matthew Feinberg, Janet Krasner Aronson, and Leonard Saxe
The 2022 Community Study of Jewish Delaware and the Brandywine Valley is the first in-depth assessment of the size and characteristics of the Jewish community in Delaware since 1995, and the first to include a section of the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania. The study provides a comprehensive portrait of the community's 25,900 Jews; their families; their Jewish attitudes, affiliations, and behaviors; their health and financial well-being; and other measures of their engagement in Jewish life.
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Among the findings:
- The Delaware and Brandywine Valley Jewish community numbers approximately 34,000 adults and children, of whom 25,900 are Jewish, living in 12,600 households.
- Twenty-three percent of Jewish households in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley include children under age 18.
- The individual intermarriage rate (i.e., the proportion of married Jewish adults with a non-Jewish spouse) is 38%, slightly below the national average of 42%.
- Forty-three percent of Jewish adults in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley do not identify with any particular denomination. Thirty percent identify as Reform, 18% as Conservative, 1% as Orthodox, and 9% with other denomination.
- Jewish households are fairly evenly distributed across the five key regions of Delaware and the Brandywine Valley. Fifteen percent reside in the Newark region, and 18% live in the Wilmington core area. The rest of New Castle and Kent Counties include 17% of Jewish households, and Sussex County is home to 21% of Jewish households. The remaining 29% of Jewish households reside across the state border in the Brandywine Valley.
- Thirty-one percent of Jewish households in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley are members of a synagogue, independent minyan, or other Jewish congregation.
- The most commonly cited obstacles to greater engagement in Jewish communal life for Jewish adults in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley are the COVID-19 pandemic (25%), not knowing many people (23%), not having found interesting activities (20%), and activities being too expensive (11%).
- Among Jewish adults in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley, 67% are very concerned about antisemitism around the world, 54% are very concerned about antisemitism in the United States, and 30% are very concerned about antisemitism in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley. Eighteen percent say they have personally experienced antisemitism in the past year.
- Forty-seven percent of Jewish adults in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley have visited Israel at least once.
- Fifteen percent of Jewish households in Delaware and the Brandywine Valley say either that they cannot make ends meet (1%) or are just managing to make ends meet (14%).