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Community Studies

The Steinhardt Social Research Institute at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies works with local residents and leaders to design and implement studies most appropriate for that community's particular needs. Community studies have focused on population characteristics and estimates as well as economic need.

To learn more, visit community studies


Director's Letter

October 16, 2018

Len Saxe

Dear Friends,

This summer the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion published our article “Assessing the Validity of Data Synthesis Methods to Estimate Religious Populations.” The study provides important support for our methodological approach that synthesizes data to estimate the US Jewish population. Contemporary Jewry is slated to publish another article that describes a new statistical approach that identifies patterns in how individuals engage with Jewish life. Both innovative approaches described in these new articles are incorporated into our Jewish community studies. We look forward to sharing reports on the Jewish communities of Boca Raton and West Palm Beach later this fall and continuing our collaboration with several other cities (including Cincinnati and Saratoga).

Over the summer, we welcomed Barry Shrage as a new member of the CMJS team. For thirty years, Barry was president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.  He is recognized as one of the Jewish community’s most thoughtful and innovative leaders. He joins Brandeis as a Professor of the Practice, and his academic affiliation will be with the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. At CMJS, Barry will lead the “Initiative for Jewish Identity.” This effort will focus on strategies for promoting engagement with Jewish life.

Another exciting development is an opportunity to travel with CMJS to Buenos Aires this coming February. With the Hornstein Program, we are co-sponsoring an educational tour of Argentina’s Jewish community. Jewish leaders and friends of CMJS and Hornstein are invited to join current Hornstein students on the study trip. For more information about the trip and to indicate interest in joining us, please see this description.

I look forward to being in contact again later this fall as we announce the release of a new report in our campus studies series and a new report on Birthright Israel.

Len signature

Leonard Saxe, PhD
Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies 
Director, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University