Survey of Heritage and Religious Identification 2002

Sponsor(s): Institute for Jewish and Community Research

Principal Investigator(s): Gary A. Tobin, Sid Groenman

Study Dates: July 31-November 7, 2001, March 4-June 11, 2002

Population Estimates:

The Study of Heritage and Religious Identification is often called the HARI study.

The HARI Report estimates that there are 6,002,000 Jews in the United States.

In addition, the report estimates there are another 2,487,000 "connected non-Jewish adults" , and 4,246,000 adults of Jewish heritage.  The HARI estimate of the three groups combined is 12,735,000 (including current Jews, the non-connected Jewish adults and adults of Jewish heritage). 

Key Findings:

Two reports summarize the study's findings (download available on right).

  • Surveying the Jewish Population of the United States, 2003 and
  • The Decline of Religious Identity in the United States, 2004

National sample of U.S. adults included a sample of Adult Jewish Households in the Continental United States.

Of the 10,204 completed interviews establishing identity, 259 (2.5%) were with a Jewish respondent.  Of these, 192 were defined as Jewish by religion.  Adding spouses who were Jewish, 301 Jewish households were identified.

Response rate, AAPOR RR3  =  29%, similar to NJPS 2000-2001





Sample Size: 10,204 RDD respondents (Jewish and not Jewish)

Sample Notes:

Data collection for the Survey of Heritage and Religious Identification (HARI) 2001-02 occurred in two parts.

  • Interviewing for Part I took place from July 3, 2001 through November 7, 2001 and consisted of 5,100 interviews.
  • Interviewing for Part II took place from March 4, 2002 through June 11, 2002 and consisted of 5,104 interviews
  • The sampling design exclusively used random digit dialing, with an equal probability of selection across the all areas of the sampling universe. Each number received at least 10 contact attempts before replacement.
  • Weights: prswght8 is the person-level weight, and is used for most analyses; hhwgt is the household-level weight.
  • Please see the detailed File Structure notes written by Dr. Groeneman, which describes file order, file structure, and appropriate weights. Please note that the second set of interviews has 2001 date which is incorrect, not 2002 which is correct.
  • Methodology discussion in "Surveying..." discusses potential undercount and over-count issues, and final decisions made for all estimates.
Study Notes:

Survey definitions

  • Jewish persons  -  6,002,000 - were defined in the HARI study to include: (a) adults whose current religion is Jewish, including those who specify other religions (excluding Messianic Jews), (b) adults who say they were raised Jewish or have a Jewish parent or formerly practiced Judaism and who specify no current religion, (c) adults who say their ethnic/cultural group is Jewish and who specify no current religion, d) children in households where at least one adult specifies Judaism as their current religion and the respondent reports that the children are being raised Jewish, at least in part.


The HARI study authors also identified two categories of people connected to the Jewish community, although they are not included in the 6.02 million population estimate.  For details, see "Connected non-Jews" and "Persons of Jewish heritage"  - pages 6-7 of "Surveying the Jewish Population...

  • Connected Non-Jews.  There are an estimated 2.5 million "connected non-Jews" (adults) in the United States.   Connected non-Jews consist of the following subgroups:

    Adults who practice Judaism as a secondary religion; that is, after mentioning some other church or faith as their current religion, they also answer “Judaism” or “Jewish” in response to whether they currently practice any other religion or attend any other church;” Adults who were raised Jewish, have/had a Jewish parent, or formerly practiced Judaism AND who now practice a religion other than Judaism; Adults who claim “Jewish” as their ethnic/cultural group and practice a religion other than Judaism; and Adults with some other current religion (or none) whose spouse’s or partner’s current religion or ethnicity is Jewish/Judaism.

  • Persons of Jewish Heritage. The category of "Persons of Jewish heritage" consists of "non-connected non-Jewish adults who report having a grandparent or more distant ancestor who was Jewish." It is estimated that there are approximately 4.2 million adults of Jewish heritage in the United States in addition to the current Jewish population estimate.


The 12.735 million estimate includes all three groups.

Language: English


Survey Reports

» The Decline of Religious Identity in the United States

» Surveying the Jewish Population of the United States

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File

Other Documentation

» File Structure Notes

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