New York: 2011 Geographic Profile.

In mid-January, they released the data from the UJA-Federation 2011 Geographic  Profile. It provides statistics of wealth, denomination, intermariage and other valuable knowledge about the NYC community broken down by county. I have seen no discussion of the data.

Among my observations is that in Manhattan only 18 % light Shabbat candles or are in household that lights candles. In the national studies of 1990 and 2000, it was about 36 % then 32% making it one of the most kept rituals. The keeping of candle lighting was one of the firm ritual kept out of nostalgia or filial piety, not anymore. In addition, kashrut in Manhattan is down to 17%, made up of the  Orthodox and half of the Conservative. On the other hand, Shabbat meals is at 32%- meaning that synagogue sponsored Shabbat meals are attractive even to those who dont light Shabbat candles.  And 32% study Judaism, much higher among those younger.

the whole study is here Geographic Profile (PDF)

A breakdown by counties is here Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 Geographic Profile

Let me know if you discover any interesting trends.

5 responses to “New York: 2011 Geographic Profile.

  1. I don’t think you can compare the Manhattan practice of a Friday night home ritual with prior national surveys. Maybe if you run the cross tabs of married with children and Manhattan. But Manhattan singles or childless couples are going to be much less likely to have Shabbos dinners than a suburban married couple the same age.

  2. Your right.
    Queens has Shabbat candles 38% Kosher Household 42% Shabbat Meals 48%
    And that is from 15% Orthodox, 28% Conservative, 15% Reform, just Jewish 14%

  3. This is just speculation, but …
    Perhaps to some candle-lighting means has a different meaning today than it did in prior generations. In the days of feminist consciousness-raising, some women may have claimed candle-lighting as a mitzvah they were not only allowed to do, but which was reserved especially for them. (Which is the reason I personally never warmed to it.) The gender angle on this mitzvah, and its association with married vs. single households, makes it less reliable as a yardstick for analysis.

  4. I wonder about some of their interpretation of data:

    Department of “Orthodox decline is irrelevant”:

    “Substantial denominational reconfigurations have taken place in Manhattan over the past nine years. Whereas the proportion of respondents who identify as Orthodox has remained fairly constant (11% in 2002 and 9% in 2011), attrition has occurred in the proportion who identify as Conservative (from 26% in 2002 to 17% in 2011) and who identify as Reform (from 35% in 2002 to 28% in 2011).”

    Why is Reform’s 20% drop significant while Orthodoxy’s 18% drop is not?

    Department of Pshitta Department:

    “The major exception concerns Manhattan’s rate of participation in Jewish community center programs and attendance at Jewish museums and cultural events. (In this regard, Manhattan’s Jewish profile can be seen as the mirror image of Brooklyn’s, which is characterized by high levels of formal Jewish connections and Jewish ritual behaviors yet low levels of involvement with more secular, cultural institutions.)”

    Well, yes. Manhattan HAS two nationally prominent Jewish museums, while Brooklyn does not (Lubavitch has two museums, but they’re not such big tourist destinations). One might say that Judaism in Manhattan is a subject for museums, while Judaism in Brooklyn is a way of living.

  5. Sunday’s NYT Real Estate section has an interesting article on age dynamics on the UWS. Three interesting data points: 1) Lincoln Towers (4,000 apts in the 60s) has 40% of its residents over the age of 60; 2) The Belnord on 86th Street had 60% of its residents over the age of 60 in 2000, but is down to 20%, 3) in Park West Village (2,500 apts in the 90s) 20% of its residents are over the age of 65. (ref:

    Shame that LSS’s new $54m building is not a mile or two further uptown.

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