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It's Time to Be Counted ... Plans Under Way for 2009 Jewish Population Study

February 12, 2009
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Leonard Barrack
Leonard Barrack, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, announced that Federation has engaged the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network to conduct its 2009 Jewish Population Study. The study will address important questions about Jewish identity and affiliation, patterns of mobility, household characteristics, socio-demographics and population estimates.

"We are completely committed to working with the Federation on this critical project and view this partnership as an important opportunity to strengthen collaboration between our two institutions," said Barry R. Freedman, president and chief executive officer of Einstein, adding that "this collaboration will build upon Einstein's long and revered history as a Jewish institution with strong connections to Jewish agencies throughout the Greater Philadelphia region."

Dr. Etienne Phipps, director of Einstein's Center for Urban Health Policy and Research, will serve as project director for the population study, which is conducted every 10 years.

She explained that the study will determine both the size of the Jewish population in the five-county Greater Philadelphia region, as well as its demographic characteristics. Phipps has enlisted the assistance of two highly regarded research and survey firms -- Social Science Research Solutions, and Groeneman Research and Consulting, Inc. -- to design and implement a telephone survey.

"SSRS staff will conduct telephone interviews with members of Jewish households throughout the area to measure Jewish identity; participation in Jewish education; geographic mobility patterns; social-service needs; philanthropy; as well as attitudes toward community organizations and Israel," explained Phipps.

An Assessment Tool

Beginning in March 2009, more than 132,000 phone numbers will be dialed toward the goal of completing 1,200 interviews. One Jewish adult from each household will participate in the telephone interview, expected to take between 20 and 25 minutes. All of the data is completely confidential.

Barrack anticipates that the study will be "an invaluable planning and assessment tool."

He explained that "the data will guide our allocations process in ways that best serve community needs, enhance our strategic philanthropy efforts by enabling us to target prospective donors groups, and help us to identify and engage volunteer leadership."

Federation President and CEO Ira M. Schwartz said that "the study results will help us to determine how the Greater Philadelphia Jewish community compares and/or contrasts with other communities of similar size and with Jews nationally," adding that "it will be interesting to see how our Jewish community profile has changed since the last study was conducted in 1996/97.

Barrack emphasized that "this is an important opportunity to ensure an accurate accounting of our community's size and makeup."

The 2009 Population Study Committee that selected Einstein is co-chaired by Federation Treasurer Peggy Carver and Board of Trustee member Scott A. Isdaner.

To learn more about the Jewish Population Study, call Brian Mono, manager of allocations, at 215-832-0812.

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