Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

2019 Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Community Study

Matthew Boxer, Matthew Brookner, Eliana Chapman, and Janet Krasner Aronson

November 2019

Sarasota report coverThe 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.

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Among the Findings

  • As of 2019, the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community numbers approximately 35,300 adults and children living in 17,100 Jewish households. This total includes 25,400 Jewish adults and 3,400 Jewish children, as well as 6,100 non-Jewish adults and 300 non-Jewish children.

  • Since 2001, the number of Jewish individuals living in Sarasota-Manatee increased by 86%. This growth rate approximately doubled the regional population growth rate.

  • Forty-eight percent of Sarasota-Manatee marriages including a Jewish partner are interfaith marriages.

  • The Jews of Sarasota-Manatee can be divided among four regions: Lakewood Ranch, Coastal Areas/Downtown Sarasota, Rest of Sarasota County and Rest of Manatee County

  • The largest share of the community, 42% of Jewish households, are located in the Rest of Sarasota County area. Lakewood Ranch is home to the smallest share of Jewish households among the geographic regions. However, the rapid growth in this area is indicative of a shift in the population center of the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community.

  • The Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community is getting younger. There are now 3,700 children living in Sarasota-Manatee Jewish households, 3,400 of whom are being raised Jewish. This figure is more than double the estimate from 2001, when 1,500 Jewish children were being raised Jewish in the area.

  • Ninety-two percent of children in Jewish households are being raised Jewish in some way.

  • Twenty-eight percent of households in Sarasota-Manatee include someone who belongs to a synagogue or another Jewish worship community of some kind. This is a decrease in the percentage of synagogue participation since 2001, but an increase in the raw number of membership households due to population growth in the area.

  • Eighty percent of households (and 82% of Jewish adults) report making a charitable contribution in the past year.

  • Twenty-seven percent of Sarasota-Manatee Jews report that they personally experienced antisemitism in the past three years. When asked to describe these experiences, the most common incidents described were antisemitic comments made in either a conversational or aggressive tone.Members of the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community are concerned about antisemitism, but that worry is directed more at the national (79%) than the local level (40%).

  • Among Sarasota-Manatee Jews, 56% have been to Israel at least once. The Sarasota-Manate rate of travel represents a higher proportion than among US Jews in general.

  • Twelve percent of Jewish households have been constrained from participating in Jewish life due to financial issues.

  • Twenty-three percent of Jewish households in Sarasota-Manatee include at least one person who is limited by some sort of health issue, special need or disability.

Index of Jewish Engagement

Sarasota engagement groups