Jewish Community Study 2019

In partnership with the Greater Phoenix Jewish Community, Arizona State University conducted a social survey of the local Jewish community, 17 years after the previous study. The goal of the 2019 study, similar to the study in 2002, was to provide current data to help the Greater Phoenix Jewish Community address the challenges to and opportunities for Jewish life in the Valley of the Sun in the next decade. The outcome is a report synthesizing the findings of the study to better understand the population as a whole.

View the 2019 report here.

Research methods

The 2019 Jewish Communal Study pursued a multi-mode strategy, sampling from lists provided by multiple community organizations as well as broader sampling methods to capture those with little or no organizational affiliation. Interviewing occurred both on the phone and online. The ASU study team also used data from other surveys and demographic information to ensure different segments of the population comprise an accurate share of the study. The questionnaire itself took 20 to 25 minutes to complete and contained a variety of questions on demographic characteristics as well as attitudes, activity and affiliations.

This approach was used to address several methodological challenges involved with studies of Jewish communities. Some of these are specific to doing research on a statistically small population and some of these are due to general challenges faced by survey researchers as the use of cell phones increase and survey response rates decrease. Different researchers in different communities have used different, or more accurately, competing strategies to measure the number of people who identify as Jews in a particular community and their attitudes on a variety of issues. These strategies include random sample studies conducted by phone, non-probability online panel studies, studies using samples drawn from traditional Jewish names, and studies that have used various community lists. Some strategies are more cost efficient than others, but even resource-intensive studies cannot solve the problem of low incidence, low response rates, and cell phones not tied to a geographic area. Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution.

The last study done in the Phoenix area (2002) used a list from the Federation augmented with a more general telephone survey.

Research team

The study was conducted by a team of ASU researchers, funded by ASU’s Office of the Provost and led by The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In keeping with ASU's charter, the study's intent was to advance research and help improve the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities ASU serves. The College turned to Professor Ken Goldstein, a leading scholar in the field of survey methodology and the study of citizens’ attitudes, to design and implement the study. Professor Goldstein also took the lead on crafting the first complete draft of the project. Team members included:


Mark Searle

Executive Vice President and University Provost

Searle is executive vice president and university provost at ASU. He holds the rank of professor in the School of Community Resources and Development in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Patrick Kenney

Dean of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Kenney is a Foundation Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies and has been on the Arizona State University faculty since 1986. He is an alumnus of the University of Iowa.

Elizabeth Wentz

Dean of Social Sciences, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Wentz's research interests include: shape and pattern analysis, geographic information science, applications of GIS to urban environment, urban remote sensing and water resource management.

Kenneth Goldstein

Professor of politics, University of San Francisco

Goldstein is an expert on political campaigns and the impact of political advertising. He is a consultant for the ABC News elections unit and has worked on network election night coverage in every federal election since 1988. He earned his PhD at the University of Michigan.

Frank Jacobson

Volunteer and retired Vice President of Philanthropic Services

Jacobson is the former vice president of philanthropic services at Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Phoenix. Now retired, Jacobson volunteers at his synagogue and serves as the advisory committee chair for the Jewish Population Study.

We acknowledge the individuals below who have agreed to serve on an advisory committee to represent the needs and interests of their respective organizations and the community as a whole.

Michael Blank

Debbie Yunker Kail
Executive Director
Hillel Jewish Student Center ASU

Sheryl Bronkesh
Phoenix Holocaust Association

Rich Kasper
President and CEO
Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix

Rabbi Mari Chernow
Senior Rabbi
Temple Chai

Rick Naimark
Associate Vice President for Program Development Planning

Shelley Cohn
Board Chair
Arizona Community Foundation

Alan Peril
Community Volunteer

Flo Eckstein
Community Volunteer & Retired Publisher, Jewish News of Greater

David Sax
Senior Strategist
DRA Collective

Peter Gordon
Head of School
Pardes Jewish Day School

Dr. Don Schon
Community Volunteer
Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix

Marty Haberer
Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix

Tina Sheinbein
Executive Director
Jewish Free Loan

Dr. Lorrie Henderson
President and CEO
Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Ira Shulman
Kivel Campus of Care

Rachel Hoffer
Community Volunteer

Rabbi Shmuel Tiechtel
Founding Director
Chabad Jewish Student Center at ASU

Jay Jacobs
Valley of the Sun JCC

Linda Zell
Executive Director
Jewish Tuition Organization

Frank Jacobson
Volunteer and retired Vice President of
Philanthropic Services
Jewish Family & Children's Service



All data collected during this study will be stored privately and securely within Arizona State University's enterprise network. Data will be encrypted and available only to ASU employees directly involved with the study, on an as-needed basis. Access will be controlled via ASU’s ASURITE ID login protocol, with an additional layer of two-factor authentication. For additional information, view ASU's official privacy statement.

Contact and questions

Questions regarding the study can be addressed to Kenneth Goldstein