COVID-19 Impact Studies


During the COVID-19 pandemic, we mobilized to provide the Jewish community with timely information about the health, economic, social, emotional, and spiritual toll of the pandemic on US Jews. Our approach aimed to provide Jewish organizations a holistic understanding about the most effective ways to serve their community members.

Building Resilient Communities Studies Project

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 chapter in the American Jewish Year Book 2020


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.


Book Chapters

Aronson, J. K., Saxe, L. Brookner, M.A., Boxer, M., & Magidin, R. (2022). The Impact of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic on US Jewry: A Preliminary Assessment. In A. Dashefsky & I.M. Sheskin (Eds.), American Jewish Year Book 2020 (Vol. 120). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Saxe, L., Wright, G., Hecht, S. (2022). The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Potential Impact on Jewish Young Adults’ Relationship to Israel and Jewish Identity. In R.A. Kenedy, U. Rebhun, C.S. Ehrlich (Eds.), Israel and the Diaspora: Jewish Connectivity in a Changing World. Studies of Jews in Society (Vol 3). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Learn more about the project and view community reports, survey instruments, and public dataset

Young Adults and COVID-19 Publications

Online or On-campus: Learning from the COVID-19 Pandemic, October 2021

Socially Distant: Challenges Facing Jewish Young Adults During the Covid-19 Pandemic, January 2021

Lonely in Lockdown: Predictors of Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties Among Jewish Young Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Contemporary Jewry, 2021

Jewish Professionals and COVID-19 Publications

Jewish Professionals and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results from the Building Resilient Jewish Communities Study, December 2020