On behalf of the Louisville Jewish Federation and the Jewish Heritage Fund (JHF) we are excited to present the results of the 2022 Study of Jewish Louisville.
Conducted by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) and the Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI) at Brandeis University, the study reflects the most comprehensive research of Jewish Louisville to date. A renowned research institute dedicated to the study of American Jewry and religious and cultural identity, CMJS/SSRI at Brandeis has produced similar studies for dozens of other Jewish communities, using its cutting-edge methodology to develop a report capturing the characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors unique to the local region. Following efforts in 1991 and 2006, this third population study of Jewish Louisville is the first to account for Jews beyond those on the mailing lists of Jewish organizations, considering as well the “unaffiliated” or those detached from the organized Jewish community.
How large really is our community? Where do we live? How many of us struggle with unmet social, health, or financial needs? How many are living with disabilities? What does it mean to be Jewish in Louisville? The study answers these questions and more, painting a portrait of our unique community and offering guideposts for creating the most inclusive, vibrant, and welcoming Jewish Louisville possible.
We are grateful to those who helped bring this work to fruition. Many thanks to CMJS/SSRI, notably Dr. Matthew Boxer, principal researcher, for his expertise and guidance. Thank you to the JHF and JCL boards for recognizing the importance of the data to the future of Jewish Louisville, and to agency staff for moving the project forward. Thank you to Alan Engel, Jasmine Farrier-Frockt, Abby Glogower, Craig Goldstein, Jon Klein, Amy Landon, and Mauri Malka for volunteering to serve on the advisory council and for your wisdom throughout the process. Thanks to all our partner organizations in the community who provided input on survey questions and encouraged their constituents to participate. And lastly, thank you to those individuals who participated in the survey for answering the call to contribute to this landmark research.
While Brandeis has concluded their assignment, the community’s work is just beginning. As we start to make meaning out of these robust findings and determine how to turn data into action, we invite you to join us in study, reflection, and dialogue. We invite you to review the report and supplementary materials, and to be open, curious, and ask questions. We invite you to share and discuss your takeaways with your friends, children, and neighbors. And we invite you to consider how these learnings might impact the decisions we make collectively and as individuals to ensure a strong and thriving future Jewish Louisville. We look forward to sharing the journey ahead.