The 2015 Nashville and Middle Tennessee Jewish Community Study

In collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee  Nashville Community Study

Matthew Boxer, Janet Krasner Aronson, Matthew A. Brookner, Ashley Perry

May 2016

Nashville and Middle Tennessee are home to a slowly but steadily growing community of Jews. At its core, the Jewish community is comprised of a small, tight-knit group of highly involved individuals who participate in many aspects of Jewish life. These individuals tend to be older and more financially secure. On the outskirts of the community are those who do not engage with the Jewish community. Somewhere in between is the majority of the community: somewhat, but not deeply, involved in Jewish communal and religious life.

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Among the findings:

  • There are approximately 11,000 people currently living in Jewish households in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, including 6,500 Jewish adults and 1,500 Jewish children as well as 2,200 non-Jewish adults and 800 non-Jewish children.

  • Children aged 17 or younger comprise about one-fifth of the population (21% of all people; 19% of Jewish individuals).

  • Over 90% of Jewish adults identify as Jewish by religion.
  • Over 80% of Jewish households in Nashville and Middle Tennessee have at least some involvement in Jewish communal life, and nearly half (47%) are moderately or highly engaged.

  • Over three-quarters (82%) of households have been to one or more programs organized by a local synagogue in the past year.

  • Half (51%) of Nashville and Middle Tennessee’s Jewish community members have been to Israel, including 21% who have visited more than once; by contrast, 43% of all American Jews have been to Israel, including 23% who have visited more than once.