The 2001 Jewish Community Study of Tidewater

Sponsor(s): United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Study Dates: May, 2001

Population Estimates: 10.900 Jewish persons live in 5,400 Jewish households in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

Another 2,900 non-Jewish persons also live in these households, for a total of 13,800 people living in Jewish households.

Key Findings:
  • The number of Jewish households declined from approximately 6,200 in 1994 - a decline of just under 13%. The author projects that a continuing "slow decline" in Tidewater's Jewish community will continue.
  • 7,500 people live in Jewish households in Virginia Beach and about 4,100 people live in Jewish households in Norfolk.

    • The number of people in Jewish households has decreased in both Norfolk (approximately 1,300 persons) and Virginia Beach (about 650 persons) from 1994-2001.

    • The percentage of Jewish households in Norfolk has decreased from 35% in 1994 to 30% in 2001, while the percentage of Jewish households in Virginia Beach has increased from 50% to 53%.

  • "The issue of Jewish continuity in Tidewater is a complex one. In many ways this is a bifurcated community, in which many households maintain a significant degree of commitment to their Jewish identity, while others clearly consider their 'Jewishness' of somewhat marginal importance."

  • "Levels of religious practice and most other involvement in Jewish activity are particularly low in intermarried households. Although it is encouraging that 37% of intermarried households are synagogue members, only 45% of children in intermarried households are being raised Jewish."
Sample: Sampling universe includes Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk, VA. "A Jewish household is any household containing one or more persons who were born Jewish, were raised Jewish, or currently consider themselves Jewish?"

Sample Size: 628

Sample Notes: The data were gathered from 628 interviews with Jewish persons 18 years of age or older in Jewish households in the Tidewater, Virginia area.

Two sampling frames were used: random digit dialing (RDD), and a list of Distinctive Jewish Names (DJN) from the telephone book. Of the 628 completed interviews, 182 cases came from the RDD frame, and 446 cases from the DJN frame.

Study Notes: Chapter 2 in Main Report provides details on the Jewish household estimation process.

Data are weighted to adjust for oversampling in some geographic areas, the number of telephone lines in households, and to adjust the DJN interviews so they are statistically similar to the RDD interviews.

Data file weights of "wf" or "wfhh" should be used for analysis.

  • Total weighted N=543 with "Wf" weight: RDD 157 and DJN 386 by "wf" N for analysis).
  • Total household weights with "wfhh" = 5,404 Jewish households precise: 1566 RDD and 3838 DJN.

  • Proportions identical with either weight: 29% RDD weighted, 71% DJN.


Survey Reports

» Main Report

» Summary Report

» Executive Summary

Slide Sets

» Single Slide Set

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File & Syntax

Publicity Material

» Survey Flyer 2

» Survey Flyer 1

» Worker Recruitment

» Survey Started: Article 2

» Survey Started: Article 1

Other Documentation

» PR Plan

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