Jewish Futures Project

Jewish Futures Project

Rather than serving as a snapshot of one moment in time, the type of study utilized in the Jewish Futures Project (referred to as "longitudinal") allows us to track a group of Jewish young adults over a number of years, as they negotiate emerging adulthood and embark upon settled adult lives. We will look at the decisions these young adults make and the factors that influence those decisions as they unfold. Two major contributions of the study will be to describe the trajectory of the next generation of American Jewry with respect to Israel, engagement and family, and to recognize the experiences, connections, and interventions that increase Jewish identification.

The first year of the study was conducted in 2009 with a sample of individuals who applied to Birthright Israel in the years 2001-2004. In 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015 the original sample was contacted again for the second, third, fourth, and fifth waves of the study. In Wave 2, the original sample was expanded to include a sample of individuals who applied to the program in 2005, and in Wave 3 it was expanded again to include a sample from the 2006 cohort. In Wave 5, a sample of individuals who applied to Birthright between 2007 and 2009 was added to the panel and surveyed for the first time.

Although not perfectly representative of young adult Jews, the Birthright applicant pool-now including more than 300,000 individuals-is remarkably diverse. These young people represent virtually every combination of secular and religious upbringing, as well as the geographic and socio-economic diversity of American Jewry.


The Jewish Futures Project gratefully acknowledges Myra Kraft, z''l, an alumna of Brandeis University and pioneer in engaged philanthropy. Along with her husband, Robert, she helped to make the Jewish Futures Project possible. We hope that our work reflects her legacy.