Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Building Resilient Jewish Communities

The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies surveyed 15,000 respondents in 10 different Jewish communities about their experiences during the first three months of the pandemic (May-July 2020).

The surveys were designed to assess the experiences of Jewish households during the coronavirus crisis. The study examined the ways in which the pandemic affected the lives of community members, including their social and emotional health, their economic well-being, job stress, and relationship with Jewish institutions.

The study was designed to provide timely information that Jewish organizations can use to more effectively meet the needs of their community members.

Please note: After the study was released, a few minor errors were identified and corrected. The final and correct data can be found in our American Jewish Year Book 2020 chapter.


Hosted by Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz

Study presented by CMJS Director, Prof. Leonard Saxe and Dr. Janet Aronson

Moderated by Cynthia Shapira, a member of the Brandeis Board of Trustees and a leader of the Pittsburgh Jewish community

  • Webinar: Topline Results Presentation to Jewish Community Leaders, Recorded September 3, 2020

    CMJS Director Prof. Leonard Saxe and CMJS Associate Director Dr. Janet Krasner Aronson present topline findings from the Building Resilient Jewish Communities Projects to leaders from the 10 federation communities included in the study.


Survey Instruments for Following Communities:

View survey instruments

  • Baltimore
  • Greater Boston
  • Chicago
  • Greater Los Angeles
  • Greater MetroWest (NJ)
  • Greater Pittsburgh
  • Greater Washington (DC, MD, VA)
  • Palm Beach County
  • South Palm Beach County
  • St. Louis

Public Dataset

This version of the dataset, with a codebook, was posted on 12/13/21 and replaces the previous version.

download public dataset

Participating Communities

  • The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore
  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
  • Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest (NJ)
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (DC, MD, VA)
  • Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County
  • Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
  • Jewish Federation of St. Louis
  • Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago


For questions about this research, contact CMJS at 781.736.2936

CMJS/SSRI Director
Leonard Saxe

Principal Investigator
Janet Krasner Aronson