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Executive Summary


The 2023 Jewish Community Study of New York paints a portrait of the largest Jewish community in the United States. The community is comprised of many different types of Jewish New Yorkers. Some Jewish New Yorkers live in non-observant households that contain non-Jewish partners and children. Others live in households that strictly follow the tenets and rules of Jewish law. The community includes Russian speakers in Brighton Beach, Haredi Jews in Borough Park, affluent Reform and Conservative Jews on the Upper East Side, Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, middle-class families in Staten Island, young families in Park Slope, and Modern Orthodox Jews in the Five Towns. The present study captures this varied spectrum and rich mosaic of New York Jewish life in 2023.

This report begins with a summary of the key findings of the study, including community size and demographics. We describe the most important themes and takeaways that emerged from the study in the remainder of this report.

Key Findings

  1. The eight-county New York area — the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester — continues to be home to the greatest concentration of Jewish people of any metropolitan area in the United States. Over the past three decades, New York has experienced a continuous growth in Jewish households and people in those households.
    • In 2023, the number of Jewish households in the eight-county New York area stands at 736,000. In all, 1,776,000 million people (Jews and non-Jews) live in these households, of whom 1.372 million are Jewish adults and children. 
    • New York’s eight-county area has experienced a continuous growth in Jewish households over the past twenty years. The area saw a 6% increase in the number of Jewish households since 2011, and a 14% increase in Jewish households since 2002. 
    • The New York area also experienced broad stability in the number of Jewish adults and children from 2002 to today. 
    • At the same time, New York has experienced a substantial increase in the total number of people in Jewish households from 2002 to today, due to the growing number of non-Jewish individuals, related, at least in part, to rising rates of intermarriage.
    • About half of all Jewish households are in Brooklyn and Manhattan, a continuation of a similar distribution of Jewish households since 2002. Brooklyn is home to about a third of all people in Jewish households.
    • New York City’s Jewish population, adults and children, stands at 955,000 while about 410,000 Jews live in Westchester and Long Island. This represents only slight change in the Jewish population of the city from 2002. 
    • Jewish density — the percentage of all households in the eight-county New York area that are Jewish — decreased from 15% in 2002 to 14% today.
    • The New York Jewish community in 2023 is older than the general population in the eight-county area. Twenty-eight percent of Jewish adults are above the age of 65, compared to 21% of adults overall in the eight-county area.


  2. New York’s Jewish community is comprised of different types of Jewish households which vary across many dimensions — including types of Jewish identification and commitment, ethnicity, race, birthplace, and language-spoken.
    • One in eight Jewish adults (12%) identify as non-white (Black, Asian, Multiracial, and other) and/or Hispanic. This includes the 7% of Jews who did not identify as white in our study, plus an additional 5% who identified as white and Hispanic. This share of non-white and/or Hispanic Jews is higher in New York (12%) than it is in the U.S. as a whole.
    • About ten percent of the New York Jewish community identifies, at least in part, as Sephardic or Mizrachi. Of those within the Sephardic and Mizrachi community who identified with a specific sub-tradition, the largest group are the Syrian Jews (17%) followed by Persian (15%) Jews.
    • In 2023, the eight-county area is home to about 90,000 Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) adults and 72,000 Russian Jewish households.1 Russian-speaking Jewish adults are heavily concentrated in Brooklyn, and a quarter of all RSJ households are in the southern Brooklyn areas of Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Sheepshead Bay.
    • Most Jewish adults in the eight-county area were born in the New York area (63%), while another 20% were born elsewhere in the United States. Only 17% of Jewish adults were born outside of the United States, and among them, just under half were born in the Former Soviet Union. Fifteen percent of foreign-born Jewish adults were born in Western Europe and 11% were born in Israel.
    • In 2023, there are an estimated 13,000 Holocaust survivors living in Jewish households in the eight-county area, 92% of whom live in New York City. The largest number of these individuals live in Brooklyn, accounting for 65% of the total number of survivors in the eight-county area.


  3. From 2002 to today, the Jewish denominational landscape in New York has shifted remarkably, marked by a decline in the share of Conservative and Reform households and a rise in the share of households among those who eschew a denominational identity. 
    • Nationally, a declining share of Jewish adults identify with a specific Jewish denomination, and in New York, the percentage of Jewish adults with no or some other denominational identification has grown substantially over the past few decades, reaching 47% in 2023, a 10-percentage-point increase since 2011.
    • At the same time, the proportion of Jewish adults who identify as Conservative or Reform has continued its steady, decades-long decline. Currently, 35% of Jewish households identify as either Conservative or Reform, down from 42% in 2011.
    • The share of Orthodox households has remained consistent at about 20% since 2002.


  4. The Jewish community in the eight-county area is wealthier than the general population in the same area. Despite this, many Jewish households live in conditions of significant economic stress and need for assistance.
    • More than one in three (36%) Jewish households reported household incomes of $150,000 or more, compared to 29% of households in the eight-county area overall.
    • Even so, nearly 1 in 5 Jewish households is poor or near-poor in 2023, with incomes under 250% of the federal poverty guideline.
    • In the eight-county area, 144,000 Jewish households are poor or near-poor, representing 428,000 people.
    • Over a third of children in Jewish households (36%) live in or near poverty. Childhood poverty in Jewish households is distinct from the general population due to its concentration among Orthodox households. Among the children in poor and near poor Jewish households, 81% live in Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) households.
    • Poverty is not distributed evenly across the eight-county area, but rather is concentrated in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
    • Poverty remains concentrated in a handful of particular groups in the New York area, each with its own challenges and needs.
      • The Haredi community represents one of the poorest groups within the larger New York Jewish community. Nearly thirty percent (29%) of the poor and near-poor Jewish households are Haredi households, and fifty-three percent of all Haredi households are poor or near poor.
      • The second largest group of poor households in the New York area are Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) households with seniors (over 65). Russian-speaking senior households (both immigrant and nonimmigrant) make up 10% of poor and near-poor households, more than double their rate among the New York Jewish population. The incidence of poverty among RSJ senior households is also significantly higher than among the general population, with 47% of these households living in or near poverty. 
      • Financial precarity is particularly acute among Russian-speaking seniors who live alone, of which nearly seven in ten (69%) are poor or near poor. 


  5. Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health and access to support continue to be important concerns for the Jewish community.  
    • About one fifth of adults in Jewish households report experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression in 2023, just as they did in 2021 during the pandemic. 
    • In 2023, the precarity of one’s financial situation is significantly associated with reported symptoms of depression and/or anxiety among adults in Jewish households. Nearly half of all adults in Jewish households who reported that they cannot make ends meet also reported experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.
    • Having a social network of friends, family, and neighbors to depend on for help is positively associated with people’s mental health now just as it was during the pandemic. In 2023, respondents with no social network to depend on for help report symptoms of depression or anxiety over four times more often than those with a large social network of 10 or more people. 
    • About half of adults in Jewish households who reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression reported that they did not seek help.


  6. In 2023, connection to the Jewish community remains salient. Connection to being Jewish, to the Jewish future, and to the NY Jewish community are broadly important to Jewish adults.
    • In 2023, 85% of Jewish adults report that being Jewish is important to them, with 53% reporting that being Jewish is very important. 
    • Jewish New Yorkers broadly feel that Jewish continuity is important. About three-quarters of Jewish adults in the eight-county area reported that it is important that their grandchildren are Jewish (73%), compared to 62% nationally. Just under half of Jewish adults (46%) also reported that it would be very important that their grandchildren be Jewish (46%), 
    • In 2023, 64% of Jewish adults reported that at least half of their closest friends were Jewish, and 43% indicated that most or all of their friends were Jewish. Nationally, the percentage of Jewish adults who report that all or most of their friends are Jewish is 29%.
    • More than six in ten (62%) of Jewish adults report that they feel connected to the New York Jewish community, at least some part or more, including one in three who feel that they are “a lot” part of a Jewish community in New York. The percent of Jewish adults who feel some or more part of a New York Jewish community is higher than the share who responded similarly in recent studies of other communities such as Los Angeles (54%) or Chicago (42%).


  7. Jewish engagement in New York today exists as a spectrum rather than two increasingly distant poles (the Orthodox versus the nondenominational) as was described a decade ago. The largest group of New Yorkers can be classified as moderately engaged Jews who observe Jewish holidays, have had some form of a Jewish education as children, donate to Jewish causes, and care greatly about Israel. 
    • The moderately engaged Jewish New Yorkers represent 44% of Jewish adults in the eight-county area. About half are Conservative or Reform, and about half non-denominational. Only a small fraction — 3% — are Orthodox. The moderately engaged are the most highly educated of the three groups, with 37% of this group reporting holding a graduate degree. This group also contains the greatest share of high-earning households in the New York area: 44% of Jewish adults in the moderately engaged group have incomes of $150,000 or more. Half of Jewish adults in this group are liberal, but nearly a third identify politically as moderate. 
    • The minimally engaged represent about one in four Jewish adults in the eight-county area. They are also the most politically liberal, with over sixty percent who identify as liberal and only eleven percent who report being politically conservative. The minimally engaged also overwhelmingly do not identify with any of the three major denominations, with 84% reporting no denominational affiliation. Even among the minimally engaged, more than forty percent of the Jewish adults celebrate Chanukah, and about one third attend a Passover Seder in a typical year. 
    • The highly engaged represent about thirty percent of Jewish adults in the New York area.  This group is home to nearly all Orthodox Jewish adults, who make up two thirds of the cohort. Among the remaining third, eighteen percent are Conservative, and seven percent are Reform. Seven percent do not identify with any of the three. Approximately two thirds of the highly engaged have attended day school, and over ninety percent have had some form of formal Jewish education. Of the three groups, this is the only one in which more than half of Jewish adults identify as politically conservative. 
  1. Russian Jewish households are those in which someone in the household speaks Russian, the respondent was born in the Former Soviet Union or has a parent who was born in the Former Soviet Union.
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