Community Studies - FAQ


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For general questions related to community studies, please refer to the FAQ ABOUT COMMUNITY STUDIES

For questions related to membership and mailing lists, please refer to the FAQ ABOUT MEMBERSHIP/MAILING LISTS

Who is conducting the study?

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.

Why did I receive a survey invitation?

You were randomly selected from a list developed by CMJS/SSRI of households in your area. These households are ones in which it is possible that one or more Jewish members reside.

How did you get my contact information?

CMJS/SSRI has been provided your information either from a local Jewish organization, publicly available data, or a list purchased from a commercial data broker. Indeed, your household may have appeared on more than one of these lists.

How will you protect my confidentiality?

All information will be stored in password-protected files that are available only to the team of researchers. They will not be released to any agency in your local Jewish community or any other outside organization. At the end of the project, the lists and all identifying data about survey participants will be destroyed.

Why should I complete the survey?

Your participation in this community study will assist your 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.

What questions will you ask me?

Topics on the survey include information about your education, age, gender, employment; about your Jewish background and education; about your current involvement with the Jewish community, if any, and the ways that you would like the Jewish community to better meet your needs. You may skip any question that you wish.

I'm not Jewish. Should I still complete the survey?

Absolutely. If anyone in your household is currently Jewish or was raised Jewish we would like to learn more about you. If not, answering a few brief questions will help us to estimate the number of Jewish and non-Jewish households that appear on our lists.

I'm not involved with the Jewish community at all. Should I still complete the survey?

Absolutely. The Jewish community would like to understand all Jewish people in the community, no matter their level of involvement. Your feedback will help the community to develop programs that better meet your needs.

What if I don't want to participate?

Surveys conducted by the Cohen Center are entirely voluntary. We hope that you'll agree to participate and answer the survey in full, but you are free to skip any questions. You may also choose not to participate. If you are called about a survey and prefer not to participate, simply tell the caller you would like to be removed from the study. If you receive an email invitation, you may reply via email or phone to opt out of future contact.

For more information contact Matthew Boxer (