2019 Twin Cities Jewish Community Study

Janet Krasner Aronson, Matthew A. Brookner, Eliana Chapman, Daniel Mangoubi, Harry Aaronson, Matthew Feinberg, Matthew Boxer, and Leonard Saxe Twin Cities Jewish Community Study

August 2020

The 2019 Twin Cities Jewish Community Study estimates the number of Jewish individuals in the community and the number of non-Jewish adults and children who are part of the region’s 34,500 Jewish households. The study also creates a comprehensive portrait of the characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors of the population.

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Read the Technical Appendices
View the Comparison Charts
Download Public Dataset

Among the findings:

Demographics

  • The 2019 community study estimates that there are 34,500 Jewish households. In these households live 88,400 people, of whom 64,800 are Jewish.
  • Using the same definitions and geography as the last study, the number of Jewish households increased by 44% and the number of Jewish individuals increased by 23%. This population change tracked overall regional growth.
  • In total, 62% of households have extended family living in other Twin Cities households.

Geography and residence

  • Two thirds of the Jewish population are located in the Minneapolis “half” of the Twin Cities and one third in the St. Paul “half.” This is an increase from past studies, which found that the St. Paul community formed about one quarter of the Twin Cities Jewish population.
  • Nearly half (48%) of Jewish adults were raised in the Twin Cities, while 11% moved to the Twin Cities within the past five years.

Marriage and children

  • The individual intermarriage rate of 48% is similar to the national intermarriage rate of 44%. Nearly 60% of married Jewish adults under age 50 have a spouse or partner who is not Jewish.
  • Among the 19,600 children who live in Twin Cities Jewish households, 15,500 children, or 80% of the total, are being raised Jewish in some way, either by religion, secularly or culturally, or as Jewish and another religion.
  • Of the 15,500 Jewish children, 36% are being raised by inmarried parents, 48% by intermarried parents, and the remaining 17% by single parents.

Jewish engagement

  • There are multiple ways that Jews in the Twin Cities express their Jewish identities.
  • Eighty-five percent of Jewish adults say being Jewish is part of their daily lives, including 31% who say it is very much part of their daily lives.
  • A typology of patterns of engaging in Jewish life, developed for this study, illustrates the main ways that adults participate in individual, ritual, and organizational Jewish life.

Index of Jewish Engagement

Twin Cities Engagement Index

Jewish community

  • About nine-in-ten Jewish adults feel connected to the worldwide Jewish community, two thirds feel connected to the local Jewish community, and 36% feel connected to an online or virtual Jewish community.
  • Overall, 67% of Jewish adults reported at least one condition that somewhat or very much limited their connection to the Jewish community. Not finding interesting activities (36%) and not knowing many people (36%) were the most common limitations.
  • Thirty-two percent of Jewish adults describe relationships between Jews and non-Jews in the Twin Cities as somewhat positive and 19% as very positive. Only 9% describe the relationship as somewhat or very negative.

Synagogues and ritual life

  • Thirty-one percent of households include someone who belongs to a synagogue or another Jewish worship community of some type.
  • Almost two thirds (63%) of Jewish adults attended services at least once in the past year, including 12% who attended a service monthly or more. Half of Jewish adults (50%) attended a High Holiday service in a typical year.

Organizations and programs

  • About half of Jewish adults in the Twin Cities participated at least once in a program, event, or activity sponsored by a Jewish organization. Twenty-three percent participated rarely in activities, 21% sometimes, and 6% frequently.
  • Sixty-three percent of Jewish households donated to at least one Jewish organization in the past year, and 20% of Jewish adults volunteered at least once for a Jewish organization.
  • Seventy percent of Jewish adults in the Twin Cities participated in some form of Jewish life online in the previous year, including 20% who did so frequently.

Financial and health needs

  • Among Jewish households in the Twin Cities, 62% said that they lived comfortably, and another 27% reported that they could meet basic expenses with a little left over. Nine percent reported being able only to meet their basic expenses, and 1% said they could not meet their basic expenses.
  • Nearly three quarters (73%) of Jewish adults were employed, and 3% were unemployed. Another 17% of Jewish adults were retired, 4% were not working and not looking for work, and 3% were full-time students.
  • In 18% of Twin Cities Jewish households, there was at least one person whose work, schooling, or general activities was limited by a health issue, disability, or special need.
  • Seven percent of households reported that a health issue limited their ability to participate fully in Jewish life.