2017 Indianapolis Jewish Population Survey

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Study Dates: 2017

Population Estimates:

17,900 Jewish persons live in 8,500 Indianapolis Jewish households.

In addition, 5,600 non-Jewish individuals live in these households for a total of 23,500 people.

Key Findings:

The 2017 Indianapolis Jewish Population study is the first random sample survey ever of the Greater Indianapolis Jewish community.  Indeed, it is the first study of any Jewish community in Indiana archived at the Berman Jewish DataBank.

Reports, slide shows, methodology report/questionnaire, and DATA files are available.

Population Estimates

♦ The Greater Indianapolis 2017 Jewish community includes 23,500 people who live in 8,500 Jewish households. Of the 23,500 people in Jewish HH, 17,900 (76%) are Jewish.

♦ Jewish households comprise 1.7%% of all households in Greater Indianapolis.

♦ Dr. Sheskin estimates (using comparative counts of distinctive Jewish names -DJNs - from household directories) that the number of Jewish HH has increased since 2010 by about 500, and the number of Jewish persons has increased by 1,100.

♦ Topics covered in the survey and summarized in study reports and slides - in addition to Jewish population estimates - include geographic profile, migration, age distribution, household size and structure, marital status, secular education and employment status, household income, Jewish identification, religious practices, intermarriage, synagogue attendance/membership/attendance, Chabad attendance, sense of involvement/feeling part of Jewish community, Jewish education (respondent childhood Jewish education, formal and informal Jewish education of adults and children), familiarity with and assessment of local Jewish organizations, social service needs, the Jewish elderly, Israel, anti-Semitism, philanthropy, and a political profile.

♦ The 2017 Greater Indianapolis Jewish community is compared to other American local Jewish communities on a number of variables in almost all reports and slide presentations. For example, the community's intermarriage rate (55% of married couples) is the 5th highest intermarriage rate for couples compared to almost 50 other Jewish communities.   


600 interviews were completed with Jewish households from April 25, 2017 through August 2, 2017 by SSRS. (Social Science Research Solutions, formerly ICR).

Over 300,000 dialings were made to landlines and cell phones to complete the interviews.

Sample Size: 600

Sample Notes:

Methodology Report written by SSRS (Social Science Research Solutions): David Dutwin, Susan Sherr and AJ Jennings provides details on methodology.  The Methodology Report also includes the CATI version of the questionnaire (a non-technical questionnaire version by Dr. Sheskin is also available as a download).

♦ Interviews were conducted by RDD sampling (random digit dialed) with both landlines and cell phones. -  with Federation List households on cell phones and landlines -  and with DJN (distinctive Jewish name) households whose landline telephone number was published in a household directory.

♦ Of the 600 completed interviews, 208 were RDD, 330 Federation List, and 62 DJN.  SSRS was responsible for sampling, interviewing, data processing, Jewish household and population estimates, data weighting and post-stratification.

♦ AAPOR response rate (RR3) was 37%; completion rate of interviews with identified Jewish households was 88%.

♦ Detailed sample disposition in Table 5 of the Methodology Report.

Study Notes:

Survey reports and slide presentations summarize the results of the 2017 study in detail.

♦ DataBank users might want to review the overall Community presentation slides first, then the Brief Summary and the Summary Report

♦ The Main Report, vol.1 and vol 2. include an enormous amount of survey data, and comparisons with other Jewish communities.  There are also a series of slides geared to each chapter of the Main Report volumes.

♦ There are also a series of other community slide presentations: for example, the JCC, slide set and the Civic Leaders presentation slide set follow the slides-by-chapters files.  A number of other presentations have been  zipped and usually contain several presentations.

Since the slides in these additional presentations replicate many of the slides in the Community presentation, caution is advised in downloading, and especially in printing!  Each slide set usually has some unique slides for a specific audience, but in general, the basic community study slide sets need to contain much of the same information.

♦ The survey questionnaire can be downloaded.

♦ Data File is available in SPSS SAV format for most DataBank research users; a version in SPSS POR is available for individuals who use other software analysis programs that can utilize portable SPSS files (truncated variable names from SAV to POR also included -  only for those who cannot use SPSS SAV)..

Weight = "wf", which extrapolates data to 8,500 Jewish households, and reflects all weighting by SSRS.  Use as default variable.

Geographic variable = "area"

Language: English


Survey Reports

» Indianapolis 2017_Brief Report: A Portrait of the Indianapolis Jewish Community

» Indianapolis 2017_Summary Report

» Indianapolis 2017_Main Report, v1.

» Indianapolis 2017_Main Report, v2.

Slide Sets

» Indianapolis 2017_Overview Community Presentation

» Indianapolis 2017_Ten Major Findings +1

» Indianapolis 2017_Slides for Main Report, vol 1, ch. 1-7.

» Indianapolis 2017_Slides for Main Report, vol 2, ch.8-15.

» Indianapolis 2017_JCC Presentation

» Indianapolis 2017_Civic Groups Presentation (updated)

» Indianapolis 2017_Anti-Semitism, Congregations, Multiple Presentations

» Indianapolis 2017_Hasten, Jewish Education Presentations

» Indianapolis 2017_Seniors, Services, Next Gen_Multiple Presentations

» Indianapolis 2017_Financial Resources, Marketing_Multiple Presentations

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Indianapolis 2017_Questionnaire and Screener (Sheskin)

» Indianapolis 2017_SSRS Methodology Report

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Indianapolis 2017_SPSS SAV Data File

» Indianapolis 2017_SPSS Syntax Transformations

» Indianapolis 2017_SPSS Syntax Chapters

» Indianapolis 2017_SPSS POR Portable Data File

» Indianapolis 2017_SPSS POR Portable Variable Name Truncation Summary

Publicity Material

» Indianapolis 2017_Publicity Materials Combined

Other Documentation

» Indianapolis 2017_MAPS

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