Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Study of Jewish Los Angeles #announcements #general #usa

Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has publicized its Study of Jewish Los Angeles. “It’s a portrait of our unique LA Jewish community and will help us chart paths forward as we strive to create the most inclusive, vibrant, and welcoming place for all…This study began with dozens of conversations with diverse community members from across our expansive region with the goal of ensuring the study’s findings would be relevant and valuable for the broadest audience.


Please begin your exploration of the reports with Key Findings and LA by the Numbers. These two reports describe the overarching findings of the study that will guide our (The Federation’s) work in the years ahead and serve as a foundation and context for the rest of the reports. For more in-depth discussions of each topic, please enjoy the topic-specific reports…Spearheading this effort for Federation, we are indebted to Dr. Shira Rosenblatt, Associate Chief Program Officer, for leading the Study of Jewish LA and ensuring the highest level of rigor coupled with genuine curiosity and a collaborative spirit.”


Highlights of the conclusions-not all are listed here but are in the report:

  • Among Los Angeles Jewish households with a married or partnered couple, the majority include a non-Jewish member. Developing a strategy to engage these intermarried households will be essential to ensuring a vibrant future for the community. Finding ways to deepen intermarried

families’ engagement with Jewish education and Jewish institutions is essential, not only for the families involved, but also for maintaining the community’s overall strength.


  • Data on the wide range of backgrounds of Jewish Angelenos, including national origin, race and ethnicity, and different ways of identifying Jewishly, suggest that programs should not adopt a “one size fits all” policy. In some cases, programs and support will need to target specific groups; in other

cases, professionals responsible for program development will need to ensure that the unique identities of group members are acknowledged and supported in shared spaces.


·         The study documents a variety of types of engagement with Jewish ritual and religious institutions. Half of adult Jewish Angelenos do not identify with a denomination, and only one quarter of households are synagogue members. At the same time, many Jewish adults are involved in cultural

and personal expressions of Judaism. Strategic approaches will need to support and enrich emerging and non-traditional Jewish organizations and activities.


  • Los Angeles Jews include many who are “well-off” financially, along with a nearly equal proportion who are “just managing to make ends meet.” Those who are financially struggling have higher levels of health and social service needs. Along with these households, many others who are do not meet

an income-based poverty criteria are limited in their ability to participate in Jewish life. Finding ways to support the human service and Jewish needs of these households is essential to the overall health of the community.


  • The geographic dispersion of the Los Angeles Jewish community is a special challenge for communal planning. The community will need to examine how best to distribute and decentralize services, while also harnessing technology to allow remote and hybrid participation in Jewish life.


The research team composed of academics from two pre-eminent research institutions: the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) at Brandeis University and NORC at the University of Chicago. This dynamic team, led by Dr. Janet Aronson and Professor Leonard Saxe at Brandeis, and Dr. Zachary Seeskin and Dr. David Dutwin at NORC, merged the Cohen Center’s unparalleled experience conducting over 25 Jewish community studies over the last two decades with NORC’s expertise in the most advanced methodologies.


Key funders for making the Study of Jewish LA a reality: Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Cedars Sinai, Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation, and Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.


To access the reports and key findings go to:



Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



To add a “little nothing” to the data you build:  My parents wanted me to learn some Hebrew, but the temples required fees/membership, etc, which they could not afford.  At some point they heard of a neighborhood market, on La Brea, between Pico & Olympic, that used their upstairs office space as an informal Saturday School where parents of little ones, like me, could find an inexpensive way for their children to learn what they had learned when they were young.  It was very sweet; very thoughtful; very unselfish, and I have never forgotten. 

Sandi (Blumenthal) Root