Jewish Baltimore is Stable and Highly Engaged According to 2020 Community Study


This month, The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore released its most comprehensive findings about the Baltimore Jewish community in the past decade.

Designed to better understand the changing landscape of Jewish Baltimore and its emerging needs, the 2020 Community Study – Foundation of Our Future: Portrait of Jewish Baltimore provides a portrait of Jewish Baltimore and serves as a valuable resource for community planning and allocation.

The survey was conducted April to July 2019. Community members were randomly selected to participate in telephone and internet surveys.

The data closely examined geography, behavior, and attitudes about Jewish practice and about the Jewish community at large. In addition, created uniquely for the Baltimore Jewish community, the study looked at Jewish engagement and focused on Jewish behaviors—the ways in which individuals participate in Jewish life—rather than self-defined identities or demographic characteristics.

At the time the survey was completed – prior to the coronavirus pandemic — the results presented a snapshot of a vibrant community consisting of approximately 46,700 households. Eight key stories emerged from the data that will offer an exhaustive roadmap to help guide the strategic planning efforts of service providers throughout Jewish Baltimore and better help prepare our community for future challenges and opportunities.

Several major themes included:

  • The center of Jewish Baltimore remains constant while our borders continue to expand.
  • Our Jewish family is changing.
  • Community members engage in Jewish life in a variety of ways.
  • Many young adults are philanthropic and community-minded while others have yet to participate.
  • Many in our community are comfortable, but a number of us are financially challenged.
  • Others are vulnerable in different ways.
  • Our community generally has positive views about Israel.
  • Concern about antisemitism reflects recent activity, but we are more concerned about national antisemitism than local.

Because the study conducted was collected by researchers at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, predated the coronavirus outbreak, the Center recently launched a new study examining the impact of COVID-19 on Jewish Baltimore as well as five to six additional communities nationwide. The Associated’s Community Study will serve as a baseline, and combined with the new data, will provide a portrait of how the organization will move forward in setting agendas and addressing the community’s needs.

For more details on the 2020 Community Study – Foundation of Our Future: Portrait of Jewish Baltimore and its findings, here.

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