2016 Broward County (FL) Jewish Community Study

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Broward County

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Study Dates: April 5, 2016 to June 19, 2016

Population Estimates:

The number of Jewish persons in Broward County (FL) as of 2016 is estimated to be 149,000.  Broward County (FL) remains the eighth largest American Jewish community and the largest Jewish community in Florida.

♦ The number of Jewish persons in Broward County declined by 39% since the last study of the area in 1997, mostly due to mortality in the large elderly population.

♦ In 2016, Jewish persons represent 8% of all persons living in Broward County, compared to 16% in 1997.  

♦ In terms of Jewish households (with at least one Jewish adult), the 72,000 Jewish households in 2016 are 10% of all Broward County households compared to 21% in 1997.

An additional 25,000 non-Jewish persons live in Broward County Jewish households; thus, the total number of people living in the 72,000 Jewish households is 174,000 (Jewish persons are 86% of all Jewish household members). 

Key Findings:

Population: The number of Jews in Broward decreased from 243,000 in 1997 to 149,000 in 2016. The percentage of Broward’s population that is Jewish decreased from 16% in 1997 to 8% in 2016, mostly due to mortality in the large elderly population.

♦ From 1997 to 2016, the Jewish population in all areas of Broward decreased, except in the Northwest, which experienced a 13% increase in Jewish households. 

♦ The percentage of snowbird households (3-7 months of the year in Broward) decreased from 9% in 1997 to 4% in 2016.


♦ Broward has 13,200 Hispanic Jewish adults, almost as many as the 14,700 in Miami.

♦ Broward has 13,600 Israeli adults, compared to 9,000 in Miami.

♦ 11% of Jewish households in Broward include an LGBT member.

Age: The percentage of the population age 65 and over decreased from 46% (123,500 persons) in 1997 to 27% (46,500 persons) in 2016; The number of persons age 75 and over decreased from 77,000 in 1997 to 23,000 in 2016.

♦ The median age in Broward County Jewish households is 53;

♦ 14% of household members are between 65 and 74, while another 13% are at least 75.  In 2016, 39% of adults 75 and over lived alone, compared to 35% in 1997.

The number of children age 12 and under decreased from 29,000 in 1997 to 17,500 in 2016, while the number of teenagers remained about constant at 10,000.

Place of Birth: 19% of adults in Broward Jewish households were born in Florida (9% in Broward); 33% were born in New York, 5% in New Jersey and 6% in Pennsylvania; another 18% were born elsewhere in the US;

♦ 19% of all adults in Jewish households were born outside the US; 86% of the foreign born are US citizens compared to 44% of all foreign born persons in Broward County.

Marital Status and Age Patterns:  In 1997, 40% of adults age 18-34 were married. In 2016,only 14% were married.  

♦ 55% of all adults are married while another 5% are living together; 20% are single and were never married (compared to 11% in 1997); 9% are widowed; 10% are currently divorced, although 23% of all adults in Jewish households have been through a divorce.

Education and Income: The percentage of Jews with a college degree increased from 35% in 1997 to 61% in 2016. The 61% of Jews with a college degree compares to 30% for all residents of Broward County.   

♦ Median Jewish household income increased from $60,000 in 1997 to $82,000 in 2016 (adjusted for inflation). The $82,000 compares to $52,000 for all residents of Broward County.

♦ 17% of Jewish households report incomes under $25,000 and another 15% between $25,000 and $50,000; 38% report incomes of at least $100,000.

Denominational Identification: In 2016, 37% of Jewish respondents identified as Just Jewish, 30% as Conservative, 28% as Reform and 4% as Orthodox.  Comparable numbers in 1997 were Just Jewish: 34%, Conservative: 37%, Reform: 28%   and Orthodox: 4%.  

Jewish Connections:  92% of respondents say being Jewish is either very important to them (66%)  or somewhat important (36%).  93% of Jewish households are involved Jewishly in some way.

♦ The percentage of Jews observing home religious practices and attending services has not changed significantly since 1997. For example, the percentage of households who always/usually participate in a Passover Seder was 75% in 1997 and is now 78%.

♦ Synagogue Membership: In contrast to almost every other American comparison Jewish community, synagogue membership increased from 27% in 1997 to 34% in 2016, although this is still well below average among the comparison Jewish communities. The increase can be attributed to the decrease in Broward’s elderly population and the growth of Chabad.

♦ Similar to 1997 patterns, younger Jewish respondents are less likely to report attending synagogue services than older respondents; 40% of Jewish adults under age 35 report that they never attend synagogue services (excluding weddings and b'nai mitzvah attendance) compared to 33% of those 35-49 and 22% of those 75 and older.

♦ In contrast to synagogue membership, membership in Jewish organizations (other than synagogues and JCCs) has decreased from 37% to 20%. This reflects the significant decrease in the number of elderly living in housing developments with Jewish organizations that operated within the housing developments.

Intermarriage: The percentage of couples who are intermarried in Broward County Jewish households increased from 18% in 1997 to 23% in 2016, but Broward County's intermarriage proportion is much lower than most local Jewish communities and the Pew national estimate of 61%. 

♦ 46% of children in intermarried Jewish households raised as Jews, 21% as partly Jewish and 33% are not being raised as Jews; the proportion being raised exclusively as Jewish has remained essentially the same in 2016 (46%) as in 1997 (43%).

Jewish Education of Children

♦ Based on the survey, an estimated 21% of Jewish-raised children are currently enrolled in a Jewish day school while 36% are involved in supplemental Jewish education: 46% of all Jewish children ages 5-12 are not enrolled in any formal Jewish education.

♦ In contrast, only 11% of Jewish children ages 13-17 are currently enrolled in a Jewish Day school and 16% in a supplemental school.  While the 73% of Broward Jewish children ages 13-17 who do not attend any Jewish formal educational setting is high nationally, when previous Jewish education is considered, only 6% of Jewish children ages 13-17 had never attended a Day School or supplemental school, a very low proportion among Jewish communities nationally. 

Israel/Holocaust: Connections with Israel are strong. As of 2016, 61% of households have been to Israel, compared to 52% in 1997; 22% of households with children have sent at least one child to Israel. 55% of respondents are extremely or very attached to Israel.

‚óŹ An estimated 3,300 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust live in Broward County (1997: 7,360)

♦ 27% of households contain a survivor, the child of a survivor or the grandchild of a survivor.

Philanthropy: 83% of all surveyed Jewish households report making a charitable contribution inn the year preceding the survey; 72% report a contribution to a non-Jewish charity while 61% report a Jewish charitable contribution.

♦ From 1997 to 2016, the proportions of charitable giving to any charity to a non-Jewish charity and to any Jewish charity remained more or less stable, except that reported contributions to the Jewish Federation of Broward County declined sharply.  In 1996, 46% of Jewish households reported a local Federation contribution compared to 23% in 2016.

♦  While 23% reported a Federation contribution in 2016, 69% reported that they had not been asked for a contribution; 8% of all Jewish households reported that they were asked, but did not contribute.  The 23% who report a Federation contribution is very low nationally compared to other local Jewish communities.

Anti-Semitism: 12% of Jewish survey respondents report a personal anti-Semitic experience in the 2016 survey compared to an almost identical 11% in 1997.  In 1997, 16% of households with children reported that a child 6-17 experienced anti-Semitism compared to 13% in 2016.

♦ 7% of respondents feel that there is a great deal of anti-Semitism in Broward County, 34% a moderate amount, 44% a little and 15% "none at all." 

♦ Among seniors 75 and over, 5% personally experienced anti-Semitism but 60% thought that there was a great deal or a moderate amount of anti-Semitism in Broward.  

♦ Among respondents under age 35, 29% personally experienced anti-Semitism, but only 21% perceived a moderate amount/great deal in Broward County.

Political Party Identification: 56% of Jewish respondents report that they are Democrats, 17% Republicans and 26% Independent. 96%  of Jewish respondents report that they are registered to vote.



1,201 telephone interviews completed with Jewish household respondents.  

Sample Size: 1,201

Sample Notes:

1,201 Jewish household interviews completed by SSRS.

Multi-dimensional stratified random sampling design based on RDD (random digit dialing) principles with list-assisted sampling.  "The study collected complete survey data from a representative sample of 1,201 households in which at least one adult age 18 or older considered himself or herself Jewish.  Interviews were stratified, using a combination of random digit dial landline and cell phone sample along with Federation membership lists to increase the incidence of households with Jewish members."

Completed interviews of all numbers in landline RDD sampling universe by sampling frame: Federation List Landline=633, Federation Cell=268, (residual) RDD landline=157, RDD Cell=143 including a special effort to contact households with cell phone numbers outside the Broward County area codes.  

See the excellent summary on page 4 of the five basic sampling frames for the study.


Response rates: overall 38.8% (landline 42.1%, cell 28.1%). Cooperation rates over 80%.  Detailed sample disposition in Table 5 of methodology report).

Design effect:  1.66

Weighting: Data were weighted by SSRS to adjust for potential sampling biases, and were then post-stratified, and balanced.  See pp. 15-17 for weighting discussion and details.

Data File and Weights:

♦ "wf" variable (v404) used for weighting of survey results extrapolates to 72,000 Jewish households.   It is the default weight for the data file. 

♦ "HHwght" (v400) extrapolates to 72,173 Jewish households precisely.  This weight was multiplied by .997608 to provide rounded 72,000 number via using "wf" above (see Syntax transformations).

♦ "HHwghtbal" (v401) adjusts "HHwght" to the original interviewing N of 1,201 by dividing each household weight by the average household weight.  This weight can be used when using statistical tests that are sensitive to size of the sample; all percentage analyses remain essentially the same.

♦ SSRS has also calculated population weights; see variables 402 and 403.

Study Notes:

Summary report, Main Report (vols. 1 and 2), Maps updated by Dr. Shesklin in December 2017.


Screening questions in SSRS CATI format are on pages 19-22 of the Methodology report; Main questionnaire in SSRS format on pages 23-97.

Questionnaire and screener used for the study committee is available for downloading at the Berman Jewish DataBank, which recommends that this version of the questionnaire be used by all users, except those interested in CATI programming details).

Language: English