Assessing the Teen Israel Experience: A Focus on In-Marriage, Raising Children Jewish and Jewish Engagement -- Comparing Teen Israel Trip Alumni with Birthright Israel Alumni and Young Adults from the Pew Survey

Sponsor(s): Lappin Foundation

Principal Investigator(s): Ezra Kopelowitz, Steven M. Cohen

Study Dates: March 19, 2014 to May4, 2014

Key Findings:

September 2014 report by Steven M. Cohen (Director, Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner) and Ezra Kopelowitz, CEO, ResearchSuccessTechnologies focused on assessing the impact of Y2I - Youth to Israel Adventure: a program sponsored by the Lappin Foundation - on American Jewish adolescents who spent a year in Israel, typically after their sophomore year in high school.

The study focused on rates of in-marriage among American Jewish youth who traveled and lived in Israel as part of the Y2I program -  as well as the proportion raising their children Jewish by religion - as the key dependent variables. 

The data from the Internet survey of Y2I program graduates were compared to two other data sources: (1) Birthright Israel alumni and (2) young adult American Jews surveyed as part of the Pew Research Center's 2013 Portrait of Jewish Americans.

In order to make the comparisons more meaningful, the data from Birthright alumni were adjusted based on parental and Jewish education background factors to resemble the Y2I participants,

The Pew study data were similarly adjusted to resemble the Y2I participants in terms of age, parental in-marriage, denomination raised and Jewish schooling.

The basic research question was "...to what extent and in what ways do trips to Israel by Jewish high school students influence their decisions, years later, to marry a Jewish person and raise Jewish children?"  The comparative analyses of Y2I participants, Birthright alumni and a cross-section of American Jewish adults age 18-39 sought to  contribute to a greater understanding of the long-range impact of Israel trips on American Jewish youth.

Findings:

"Both the Y2I and Birthright alumni display higher levels of Jewish engagement than does a national cross-section of Jewish young adults with similar patterns of parental in-marriage, denominational upbringing, and Jewish schooling."

"On matters of in-marriage and raising children Jewish Y2I alumni and Birthright alumni do not substantially differ from one another."

"With respect to other forms of Jewish engagement – the number of Jewish friends, Jewish dating, Jewish in-marriage, and raising children Jewish, but also religious activity, attachment to Israel, and Jewish community involvement – we find similar patterns. Both Y2I and Birthright alumni outscore the national cross-section of Jewish young adults. The Y2I and Birthright alumni exhibit strikingly similar patterns."

Sample:

365 Internet responses in data set.

N=258 analyzed for the report: ages 18-39 respondents.

Variable "BRI2" (last variable)  =  "1"  =  the 258 respondents ages 18-39 used for the report findings.

Data File can be downloaded from right side of page.  Zip File includes:

SPSS SAV version of the data file - preferred for SPSS users

SPSS syntax for SAV

SPSS POR (portable version) of file -  for those who need Portable file to convert to another software program.

PDF of variable name truncations which occurred on transition from SPSS SAV to SPSS Portable

 

 

Sample Size: 365 total: 258 used in report. See Sample and Sample Notes

Sample Notes:

Y2I Sample was selected to represent the 2,119 Lappin Foundation Y2I alumni from North Shore of Massachusetts communities who had gone to Israel on Foundation-sponsored trips since 1971, with the Foundation paying all costs since 1996. 

The data file contains all 365 complete and partial responses to the survey, of which 258 came from the first wave of email requests and another 107 came from a second wave of links in letters sent by the Foundation to alumni..

Variable "BRI2" - the last variable in the data set -  summarizes researcher's identification of the 258 responses from Y2I alumni ages 18-39 used in the report. 

Category "1" =  the 258 ages 18-39 used for analysis of data and comparison to the Birthright and Pew data sets.

Report notes:

"With respect to those 18-39 alone, we analyze a total 258 responses, of which 71 came by way of requests by mail, and 187 by way of the direct survey invitation via email. The latter represented a hefty 63% of the 296 potential respondents who received email invitations, an unusually high response rate.

"Between 1993 and 2011, a total of 1,311 young adults participated in the Y2I program; in other words, at the time of the survey, Y2I had almost 30% of the participants’ email addresses (399/1,311), and 80% of the postal addresses of the remaining potential respondents (732/912). In all, Y2I was able to establish contact with 20% (258/1,311) of the alumni from the relevant period."

 

Study Notes:

Topline frequency responses of the 258 Y2I alumni currently ages 18-39 are included in one of the report appendices beginning on page 16 of the Assessing The Teen Israel Experience  (page 20 of the PDF).

Data File can be downloaded from right side of page.  Zip File includes:

SPSS SAV version of the data file - preferred for SPSS users

SPSS POR (portable version) of file -  for those who need Portable file to convert to another software program.

PDF of variable name truncations which occurred on transition from SPSS SAV to SPSS Portable

Language: English