New Study: Orthodox and Russian-speaking Jewish Households Gain Strength in New York City

The population of the New York area Jewish community has grown nearly 10 percent since the previous study in 2002, according to UJA-Federation of New York’s Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011, released today.

In the five boroughs of New York City, the Jewish population rose to 1,086,000, with 316,000 on Long Island and 136,000 in Westchester.

The New York Jewish community has also seen rising rates of poverty, with more than half a million people living in poor or near-poor Jewish households. One in four people in Jewish households in New York City is poor, an increase from one in five in 2002, with a large increase reported in poverty in suburban areas.

Additional key take-aways are:

  • There are 198,000 individuals 75 and older (up from 153,000)
  • At 493,000, 32 percent identify themselves as Orthodox (up from 27 percent)
  • 64 percent of all children are Orthodox
  • Nearly a third of the respondents who identified themselves as Jews said they did not ally themselves with a denomination
  • The number of Russian-speaking Jews, and their descendents, is 216,000
  • About 12 percent of all Jewish households in the eight counties included one person who was bi-racial or nonwhite

The Executive Summary and the complete Comprehensive Report are available for download.

UJA Federation engaged Jewish Policy and Action Research (JPAR) to conduct the study. JPAR is a strategic alliance between Ukeles Associates, Inc., and Social Science Research Solutions, and together they have worked on 21 Jewish community studies across the United States. Professor Steven M. Cohen is JPAR’s research team director for the New York study.

This post was updated to correct the percent who identify as Orthodox and number of Orthodox children in the eight-county area and not just NYC – as originally published.