Community Studies - FAQ


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For questions related specifically to membership/mailing lists, please refer to the FAQS ABOUT MEMBERSHIP/MAILING LISTS.

For questions related participation in the survey, please refer to the FAQS ABOUT PARTICIPATION IN THE SURVEY.

What is CMJS/SSRI?

The Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) at Brandeis University is a multi-disciplinary research institute dedicated to the study of American Jewry and religious and cultural identity. The Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI), hosted at CMJS, is committed to the development and application of innovative approaches to socio-demographic research for the study of Jewish, religious, and cultural identity.

What is a community study?

Local Jewish community studies are designed to help local Jewish agencies learn about the demographics of their communities; community members’ interest in services, affiliations with Jewish organizations, behaviors, and attitudes; and a host of other topics that inform communal planning. The results of such studies help local Jewish organizations make informed, data-driven decisions about programming, resource allocation, goals, and the impact of their efforts. For examples of past CMJS/SSRI studies, see past studies.

Why study a Jewish community?

Jewish communities ask CMJS/SSRI to collect, analyze and synthesize data on their community. The research can be expected to assist local Jewish organizations develop an estimate of the size of the Jewish community, describe its shape and character, evaluate programming, assess needs, and inform planning and resource allocation.

Why do a community study now?

Just as individuals change over time, so too do communities. The results of a community study are useful for about ten years. If your community’s most recent study was conducted more than ten years ago it is time for another study that will provide the community with contemporary data. If your community has never conducted a study, it is important to begin the process so that your leadership, organizations, and community members can be best informed about the shape and nature of the current community. A community study will help take advantage of today’s opportunities and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges. 

For more information

Contact Matthew Boxer (