Jewish Community Study of New York, 2002

Sponsor(s): UJA-Federation of New York

Principal Investigator(s): Jacob B. Ukeles, Ron Miller

Population Estimates:

An estimated 1,412,000 Jewish persons lived in 643,000 Jewish households in the eight-county area in 2002. The total number of people living in New York Jewish households was 1,667,000 (including 255,000 non-Jewish persons).

Key Findings:
  • The size of the Jewish population has remained stable since the last study in 1991: the number of Jewish persons was 1,420,000 in 1991, 1,412,000 in 2002;


  • New York Jewish households represent 15% of all households in the eight-county area; Jewish persons are 12% of all people in the area, and 26% of all white, non-Hispanics;


  • Approximately 70% of Jewish persons live in New York City (972,000 Jews), and 30% in the three suburban counties (455,000 Jews); since 1991, the New York City Jewish persons numbers declined by 5%, while suburban Jewish numbers increased 24%;


  • 456,00 Jews live in Brooklyn (Kings County), 32% of the eight-county total;


  • Diverse community includes an estimated 223,000 people (202,000 Jewish) in 92,000 Russian-speaking households; over 90% of Russian-speaking Jewish households lived in New York City;


  • 55,000 Jewish Nazi victims resided in the eight-county area; half lived in Russian-speaking Jewish households;


  • The eight-counties have the largest Orthodox population in the United States; an estimated 378,000 Jews live in Orthodox households; there are 345,000 Reform Jews, 318,000 Conservative Jews, 167,000 Jews without denominational identification, and 95,000 secular/no religion Jews;


  • There are almost an equal percentage of children - 22% - as seniors - 20% - in New York Jewish households;


  • At least two-out-of-three Jewish survey respondents feel being Jewish is very important and that they are part of a Jewish community; almost nine-out-of-ten are committed to the survival of the State of Israel and to making the world a better place;


  • 43% of Jewish households report congregation affiliation; suburban affiliation rates are higher;


  • Intermarriage rates are relatively low compared to national data: 22% of currently married couples are intermarried; among couples married since 1990, the intermarriage rate is 31%; half of children in intermarried households are being raised as Jews;


  • One-in-six Jewish households reports an annual income under 150% of federal poverty guidelines, a standard more appropriate for the New York area than the 100% severe poverty standard; 244,000 people live in these poor households; Jewish poverty is concentrated in New York City;


  • Just under 100,000 Jewish children are enrolled in full time Jewish day schools in the New York area; New York is one of the few national Jewish communities with more children in day schools than in "supplementary" education;


  • Jewish New Yorkers are relatively charitable: 88% made some charitable gift in the year preceding the survey, 65% to a non-specifically Jewish cause and 58% to a Jewish cause; 28% reported a UJA-Federation of New York gift.

Jewish Households in the UJA-Federation New York eight-county area: the five boroughs/counties of New York City (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island) and three suburban New York State counties: Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester.

Sample Size: 4,533 Interviews completed with Jewish households from March-September, 2002; interviews were completed with 75% of the 6,035 Jewish households identified in the screening process.

Sample Notes:

Sampling design, estimation and weighting were completed by GENESYS Sampling Systems in consultation with UAI. Design involved random samples from two complementary sampling frames: (1) LIST of Jewish households from the Federation and other Jewish community sources, and (2) a Residual RDD Frame consisting of all other possible RDD numbers in the eight-county area from which the List numbers had been electronically unduplicated. Interviews: 1,263 within LIST frames, and 3,070 within the residual RDD frames.

Sampling frames were stratified by county; all estimates and weighting within county sampling framework. Weights adjusted for geographic oversampling and multiple telephone lines in the residual RDD frames.

Response rate, AAPOR RR3 = 38%; 52% response rate in List sampling strata, 37% in residual RDD strata.

Methodological details, and a comprehensive discussion of the sampling design included in Research Note in the Summary Report, and expanded upon in Appendix A of the Main Report, which includes sampling disposition.

The data file is weighted to reflect estimates of the Jewish population and Jewish households in the eight-county New York area. "HHWEIGHT" projects to number of Jewish households: 643,070 precise; "JEWWEIGH" projects to number of Jewish persons: 1,412,418 precise; and "POPWEIGHT" to number of total number of people in households: 1,667,496.

Study Notes:

The 2002 report was written for UJA-Federation of New York by Jacob B. Ukeles, President UAI (Ukeles Associates, Inc.) and Ron Miller, Research Director.

In 2009, UJA-Federation of New York published a study on "Israeli Jews in Greater New York," by Steven M. Cohen and Judith Vornstein using data from the 2002 Study, as well as 2000 census data and survey information from the Census Division's American Community Surveys (2003-2007) to estimate and describe the Israeli Jewish population in the 8-county area.

Coverage: New York, New York

Language: English