Frequently asked questions

Read on for answers to common questions. If you don’t find the answer you need in the FAQs, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

  • Why did UJA collect these data?

    The U.S. Census is prohibited from asking questions about religion and does not include “Jewish” in its questions about ethnic identity. As a result, this prime source of information about the population — locally and nationally — cannot provide information on the number of Jewish people or their characteristics. To learn more about the New York Jewish community in 2023, we collected data online, by phone, and through hardcopy questionnaires from nearly 6,000 adults in the eight-county area who live in a Jewish household. Data from this survey paint a portrait of Jewish attitudes and behaviors, poverty and social need, and Jewish family life in communities across the 8-county area. These data will be used by UJA and its partner organizations to direct aid and support to the people and places that need it most.

  • The survey was carefully designed to provide county-level population characteristics as well as data for a set of sub-county zip code clusters. The eight counties covered include: The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau. To learn more about the geographies covered, please visit our interactive tool and use the reference map listing all available geographies.

  • The 2023 Jewish Community Study of New York was carefully developed by UJA staff and a group of leading survey experts. An advisory group of researchers and UJA’s in-house research team contributed to all elements of survey design and methodological considerations, in addition to the extensive expertise of SSRS, who conducted the survey. In publishing survey results we are making every attempt to identify relevant limitations while also maximizing the reliability and validity of the published summary statistics and datasets.

    We took great care with the 2023 study to ensure the reliability and representativeness of the data. We conducted a comprehensive pilot study in 2019 to test the conversion from phone surveying to address-based sampling to ensure that we developed the optimal study design and sampling strategies for a community study. We withheld the Jewish affiliation of the sponsor until after the screener, so as to not bias the Jewish respondent to participate.  

    We also, and importantly, introduced a full adult roster within the screener in 2023 for all households regardless of whether they screened in as Jewish or not. This allowed for comprehensive weighting adjustments to be made regardless of whether the responding adult was not “randomly selected.” This allowed us to correct for any respondent selection biases, as well as fully calibrate to the adult population without having to make the assumption that the responding adult was representative of all the adults within the household. The process followed in 2023 is considered best practice today.

  • The sample was designed to reach a representative sample of Jewish households in the eight-county Federation Service Area (FSA) with targeted oversamples in specific neighborhoods. The broad coverage area includes the five New York City boroughs, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties. The sample design was informed by the 2019 Pilot Study and 2021 Covid Impact Study that tested the feasibility and best practices of using Address-Based Sampling (ABS) alongside big data modeling to effectively reach Jewish households. SSRS then combined this type of modeling with a more traditional stratification that leverages listed Jewish households and likely Jewish incidence based on geography, in addition to special treatment of drop point addresses.

  • Whenever possible, we attempted to ensure comparability to other Jewish and non-Jewish survey data. Many of the questions on the questionnaire were taken from or oriented towards established survey questions used by the Census Bureau, CDC, New York City’s Robin Hood Foundation, and other organizations. When possible, we also aimed to ensure comparability to past community studies and to the research conducted on the Jewish population by the Pew Research Center.

    However, we do not make direct comparisons to the 2011 Jewish Community Study of New York, the last New York population study, due to methodological differences between the 2011 and 2023 studies including differences in the modes of the two surveys (telephone interviews compared to web-based surveys), the survey identification processes, and weighting procedures. As a result, when considering the change in the Jewish population over time, the 2023 study presents a historical view (looking back to studies in both 1991 and 2002) to provide long-term population trends.

    Our data also closely align with all the available external benchmarks that we have. For example:

    1. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) tracks enrollment in private schools, including Jewish day schools and yeshivot. Our study's estimate of 128,000 children in day schools closely aligns with enrollment totals for Jewish schools in the NYSED data system.

    2. The Claims Conference estimates that 13,966 Holocaust survivors live in the eight-county area. Our study estimates 12,864 [CI: 8,852–16,876].

    3. A recent JFNA Demographic Snapshot estimates that 1.326 million Jews live in the eight-county area. This closely mirrors our findings as well.

  • The Jewish Community Study of New York (JCSNY) is the only quantitative study of the Jewish population living in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. It is used by UJA-Federation and other Jewish organizations to help strengthen Jewish connections, meet health and human service needs, and to identify and address changes in the community. 

    In contrast to previous studies that were conducted by telephone alone, this was the first New York community study to be conducted using address-based sampling (ABS), an emerging standard that has been used in other recent community studies across the United States. While previous studies utilized random samples of landline and cellphone numbers from the eight-county area, the 2023 study reached selected addresses by mail with invitations requesting an adult member of the household to take a self-administered online or paper survey, or dial in for the option of a traditional phone survey. 

  • Through this website, you can choose to use microdata or our interactive data tool to easily modify and adjust the weighted data according to your needs. This website also provides brief reports on demographics, poverty, Jewish congregations, and family life, among other topics. De-identified microdata in open, machine-readable formats will also be available at the Berman Jewish Data Bank.