Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Local Jewish Community Population Studies

Community studies report covers

The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) and Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI) at Brandeis University have deep expertise in research methods, theory, policy, and practice regarding US Jewish identity and engagement.

Our work is distinguished by cutting-edge application of social science methods and keen attention to the needs of the community. Our approach utilizes a set of validated methods, applied in innovative ways, to collect, analyze, and report accurate and actionable data that informs community planning. Our community studies are designed to open new doors to understand and animate Jewish life. 

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Spotlight: War in Israel, Resources at Brandeis University (October 2023 Issue)

Spotlight on Jewish Lou 502.0 (July 2023 Issue)

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Spotlight on Long Beach Area Jewish Community (May 2023 Issue)

Spotlight on Interfaith Families (April 2023 Issue)

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Related Topical Reports

Toronto interfaith report cover

August 2020

This multi-method study describes the experiences, perspectives and needs of the Toronto Jewish community’s growing population of young couples that include a Jewish partner and a partner from a different religious background. The study focuses on interfaith households with different levels of engagement with organizational Jewish life.

Pittsburgh Interfaith report cover

November 2019

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

Boston interfaith report cover

August 2019

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

Outbound on the T report cover

August 2017

Boston is home to the largest concentration of 18 to 37-year-olds in the United States. The 2015 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study found that young adults make up almost one-quarter of the local Jewish population, but also noted that the plurality are largely unaffiliated and are most likely to be engaged culturally, if at all. Employing two sources of information—a reanalysis of the Boston 2015 Jewish Community Study and new interviews with 50 young adults and key informants—the report creates a 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.


Living on the Edge report cover

September 2013

To better understand the economic challenges and needs of Jewish households in Rhode Island, CMJS examined macro-level indicators, conducted a scan of services currently available in Rhode Island communities, collected systematic data about requests for assistance at the synagogue level, and held in-depth interviews with individuals currently experiencing economic hardship. Recommendations focus in part on establishing context, frameworks, and norms for community-wide investment. Other suggestions relate to meeting the more immediate needs of households.