In January 2019, the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle began publishing a 10-part series of stories based on the results of the 2017 Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Community Study, a comprehensive exploration of our community including data on everything from education to engagement to economics. The Chronicle’s series, which concludes with Staff Writer David Rullo’s look at volunteerism, focuses on individual members of Jewish Pittsburgh whom the data represents. The $325,000 study was funded by the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and conducted by Brandeis University researchers.
It delivers a portrait of Jewish Pittsburgh that reveals an educated, growing population that is highly connected to Israel, but nevertheless reflects national trends in terms of declining congregational engagement. The last such study was conducted in 2002.
The research included interviews with approximately 2,100 Jewish households throughout Greater Pittsburgh.
Although its synagogue affiliation has dramatically declined since 2002, the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community nonetheless has grown by 17%. According to the latest tally, it includes 49,200 Jews living in 26,800 households.
Our series includes deep dives into Jewish communities in the suburbs, Jews who have found alternatives to traditional synagogues, Jews experiencing poverty, and formal and informal Jewish education.
Here is the complete series. We hope it provides insight and can serve as a means to inspire conversation and collaboration to help plan for the future of Jewish Pittsburgh. PJC
– Toby Tabachnick
Here are the stories:
1. Pittsburghers finding ways to worship beyond bounds of shul
2. Young adults find ways to engage with Judaism
3. Parents confront choices regarding formal Jewish education
4. Financial hardships affect a quarter of Jewish Pittsburgh
5. Thinking suburbs, communities with distinct identities
6. Culturally Jewish — proud of heritage but not religious
7. Parents and kids reap rewards of informal Jewish education
8. ‘Immersed’ in Jewish life
9. Youth groups are rich source for Jewish engagement
10. Volunteerism as an expression of Jewish values