The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond Community Study, 1994

Sponsor(s): Jewish Community Federation of Richmond

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Study Dates: November 14-21, 1994 and December 7, 1994.

Population Estimates:

In 1994, an estimated 12,100 Jews lived in 6,000 Jewish households, while another 3,200 non-Jews also lived in these households (total number of people living in Richmond, VA Jewish households in 1994 was 15,300.) 

  • The 1994 Community Study was a telephone interview survey based on completed interviews with 623 Jewish household respondents - -  191 reached via RDD (random digit dialing sampling) and another 422 interviewed after being called randomly based on their distinctive Jewish names (DJN) which appeared in local telephone directories.


In 2011, a partially RDD-based interview survey was not conducted.

The 2011 Jewish population update is based upon a count of the number of DJN names compared to 1994 -  without any interviewing being conducted.  Dr. Sheskin estimates from the 2011 DJN update reduced the estimate of Jewish persons from 12,000 in 1994 to 10,000 in 2011.  The reduction was based on two data sources: (1) the Distinctive Jewish Name (DJNs) counts from an electronic listing of Richmond-area households and (2) a survey of Richmond-area Jewish institutions to determine number of members, etc. in 2011 compared to base data from 1994.


Adult Jewish Households in Greater Richmond

Sample Size: 1994 survey: 623 respondents in households with one or more Jewish individuals via telephone interview surveys which averaged 15 minutes.

Sample Notes:

1994: Of the 623 Jewish-person interviews, 191 respondents were reached via RDD (random digit dialing) and 432 interviews were conducted from a DJN (distinctive Jewish name) sample from local telephone directories.

1994 Survey Data were weighted so that the Distinctive Jewish Name interviews resembled the RDD interviews in terms of age and synagogue membership.

1994 Data file variable "source" indicates sampling frame utilized.

Weight "wf" should be used for analysis; number of weighted cases is identical to unweighted number.

Data are not weighted to project to the total of 6,000 Jewish households.

Sample disposition for RDD telephone contacts included in methodology chapter in Main Report.

Methodology section also provides details on the estimation process used in 1994 to estimate the number of Jewish households in the area.

Study Notes:

2011 Update:

Please note that Slide set for the 2011 DJN "count" update was added in February, 2012, as was the Executive Summary of the 2011 update.

The 2011 Jewish population update reduced the estimate of Jews from 1994 (12,000) to approximately 10,000 Jewish persons, a 17% decline from 1994-2011, based on two data sources: (1) Distinctive Jewish Name (DJNs) counts from electronic lists of Richmond-area households, and (2) a survey of Richmond-area Jewish institutions.

No Jewish respondent interviewing was completed in 2011 as part of the DJN counting and geographic analysis process.

The source used for the 2011 DJN analysis includes all households published in available electronic landline directories as well as some unknown proportion of households that are cell-phone only, which are not in electronic telephone directories, but are culled from tax rolls, voting records, driver's' license records, etc., by the firm supplying the list to Dr. Sheskin.

Results of the Jewish organizational surveys supported the conclusion of a population decrease from the DJN counts -- synagogue membership, JCC membership, enrollment in children's Jewish educational programs, Jewish federation campaign data and the number of households on the Jewish Federation mailing list all declined from 1994 parameters.

A summary of the results and implications is found on slides 74-77 in the 2011 Update Slide set and in the Executive Summary section of the 2011 Executive Summary Update Report.

Both 2011 reports are included under Downloads in both the 1994 and the 2011 update Richmond, VA community study pages.


Survey Reports

» Main Report

» Executive Summary (2011 Update)

» Summary Report

Slide Sets

» Slide Set (2011 Update)

» Slide Set

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File

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