Volume V, DIVISION V: RESEARCH PROJECTS-REPORTS AND ARTICLES BASED ON THE PROJECTS' FINDINGS; JEWISH DEMOGRAPHY / כרך ה, חטיבה ה: מפעלי מחקר בתחום מדעי היהדות: דינים-וחשבונות ומאמרים מדעיים, המבוססים על תוצאות מפעלי המחקר; מאמרים בדמוגרפיה יהודית‎ || PLANNING THE UNITED STATES JEWISH POPULATION STUDY: Toward Insight into American-Jewish Demography and Identity

  • Published on
    15-Jan-2017

  • View
    215

  • Download
    3

Embed Size (px)

Transcript

  • World Union of Jewish Studies /

    PLANNING THE UNITED STATES JEWISH POPULATION STUDY: Toward Insight intoAmerican-Jewish Demography and IdentityAuthor(s): Fred MassarikSource: Proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies / Volume V, DIVISION V: RESEARCH PROJECTS-REPORTS AND ARTICLES ,, BASED ON THE PROJECTS' FINDINGS; JEWISH DEMOGRAPHY / , : : - , ; *pp. 251*-263 " / 1969Published by: World Union of Jewish Studies / Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23524112 .Accessed: 13/06/2014 00:05

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

    .

    World Union of Jewish Studies / is collaborating with JSTOR todigitize, preserve and extend access to Proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies /

    http://www.jstor.org

    This content downloaded from 62.122.79.40 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:05:47 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=wujshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/23524112?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

  • PLANNING THE

    UNITED STATES JEWISH POPULATION STUDY:

    Toward Insight into American-Jewish Demography and Identity

    Fred Massarik

    Los Angeles

    For the United States Study of Jewish Population, this is a moment of

    progress and confluence. Several basic streams of activity presently

    converge, rooted in more than a decade of development. This status

    report highlights several current key issues, following a brief review of

    the Study's history, concept and design. This paper cannot, of course, elaborate the mass of particulars specified by the Study's scientific

    directors and technical staff.1 These details, including questionnarire and

    interview content, sample plans, field work cost equations and the like

    will appear in a series of final report documents, 1973-74.2

    I. Recapitulation of the Study's History

    In 1961, it was proposed by this author to the Council of Jewish Federa

    tions and Welfare Funds, a U.S. national advisory and coordinating

    agency for Jewish communal activities, that it assume leadership in deve

    lopmentof the first nation-wide study of the U.S. Jewish population. As is

    well-known, the principle of separation of church and state, while subject to somewhat varied interpretations by Jewish organizations and other

    groups, has the effect of preventing the U.S. Census from including

    religious queries in its decennial count. Thus, community studies and

    1. The Associate Scientific Directors include (in 1969) Dr. Morris Axelrod, Director,

    Survey Research Program, Harvard-M.I.T. Joint Center for Urban Studies;

    Stanley K. Bigman, Senior Associate, Washington (D.C.) Center for Metropolitan

    Studies; Alvin Chenkin, Supervisor, Department of Statistics, Council of Jewish

    Federations and Welfare Funds, New York; Professor Sidney Goldstein, Chairman,

    Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode

    Island; Saul Kaplan, Research Director, Chicago (Illinois) Jewish Federation; Pro

    fessor Bernard Lazerwitz, Director, Public Opinion Survey Unit, University of

    Missouri; and Professor Albert J. Mayer, Department of Sociology, State University,

    Temple, Arizona. Yehuda Lev, was Research Manager.

    2. Address requests to Fred Massarik, Scientific Director, U. S. National Jewish

    Population Study RSB, Rm. 304 590 N. Vermont Ave..Los Angeles, Calif. 90004.

    251

    This content downloaded from 62.122.79.40 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:05:47 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

  • 252* FRED MASSARIK

    incidental data contained in occasional national surveys have been the

    usual sources of systematic information on the U.S. Jewish population.

    Further, it was recognized that, even had it been possible to include a

    religion question in the Census, the need for greater richness of infor

    mation on specifically Jewish topics (e.g. Jewish education, identity,

    observances, etc.) would have necessitated a separate, major study. Upon consultations with scholars at the Hebrew University,3 a series of techni

    cal memoranda were prepared as basis for discussion,4 funding obtained,5 and a design elaborated.6

    II. Study Concept and Design

    A complete enumeration of the U.S. Jewish population under non

    governmental auspices is, of course, financially and technically unfeasible.

    Instead, a sampling survey of substantial scale must suffice. While, of course, anyone would be pleased to obtain the largest possible rep resentative sample size, inevitable compromises between ideal and reality

    (together with improvements in sampling methodology), have established

    the range of 10,000 to 12,000 Jewish interviews as target. The actual

    number of completed, detailed Jewish household interviews is near 7,500,

    augmented by several thousand mail questionnaires. The sample design is based on a multi-stage concept, making use of

    several levels of stratification. It takes account of the problem of defining Jewishness for research purposes, and of the manifest impossibility of

    establishing a convenient sample frame that would list, item by item, all

    relevant potential respondent households. As will be noted later, the use

    of available lists of Jewish households, except in rare instances, fails to

    provide an adequate basis for sampling, although lists can be used in

    conjunction with area probability procedures. Thirty-nine strata are defined, taking into account geography and

    estimated Jewish population size. Of these, eighteen, with estimated

    Jewish populations of approximately 30,000 and up per stratum, are self

    3. Especially Professors Moshe Davis and Roberto Bachi, and Drs. Gad Nathan

    and U. O. Schmelz.

    4. Prepared by Dr. Gad Nathan.

    5. By the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, N.Y. with the pro fessional leadership of Philip Bernstein and Dan Rosenberg.

    6. Through the CJFWF Technical Advisory Committee, composed of the Associate

    Scientific Directors, and by the Research Manager, with the aid of external consultants,

    including the late Dr. William Hurwitz, U.S. Census, Professor Raymond Jessen,

    University of California, Los Angeles, and others.

    This content downloaded from 62.122.79.40 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:05:47 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

  • NlTEt) STAtES JEWISH EOPLATIH SfUDY 253*

    representing.Twenty strata are sampled with varying probabilities ranging from .50 to about .07. According to American Jewish Yearbook figures, (1968), the self-representing strata contain 4,734,000 of the estimated

    Jewish population of about 5,779,000, about 82 %. Primary sampling units selected from the balance of the strata, contain an estimated Jewish

    population of roughly 242,000, or slightly more than an additional 4 %-To the extent to which present figures may be relied on (and on the macro

    level there is some support for their adequacy),7 we conclude that the

    Study will have contact with communities that in their totality contain

    approximately 86 % of the U.S. Jewish population.

    The remaining stratum consists of the more than two-thousand counties

    for which no Jewish population is shown at present. There are indications

    that indeed these counties contain only a very small number of Jewish

    households.8 Nonetheless, a sample of such counties is drawn atafrac

    tion of .01 to .02 or less.

    To provide a sense of the variety of communities included, here follows

    a listing of the primary sampling units (showing principal community or

    popular designation). In each instance, definitions of U.S. Census Stand

    ard Metropolitan Areas and patterns of Jewish population distribution

    are considered:9

    1. Los Angeles, California

    2. San Francisco-Oakland, California

    3. Washington, D.C.

    4. Miami, Florida

    5. Chicago, Illinois

    6. Baltimore, Maryland 7. Boston, Massachusetts

    8. Rhode Island-Cape Cod

    9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

    10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    11. Cincinnati, Ohio

    12. Detroit, Michigan 13. St. Louis, Missouri

    14. Newark, New Jersey Counties 15. Greater New York

    16. Cleveland, Ohio

    17. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 18. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 19. Hartford, Connecticut

    20. Buffalo, New York

    7. For large Jewish communities and regions the Distinctive Jewish Names (ratio

    Method (Fred Massarik "New Approaches to the Study of the American Jew"

    The Jewish Journal of Sociology,\0\. VIII, No. 2, Dec. 1966), provides results showing

    reasonably good fit, (usually \0"/o) with American Jewish Yearbook figures.

    8. The majority of these counties are located in rural and other sparsely settled

    areas.

    9. Some changes were made in PSU definition, going beyond SMSA boundaries,

    to include contiguous Jewishly-populated counties.

    This content downloaded from 62.122.79.40 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:05:47 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

  • 254* FRED MASSARIK

    21. Denver, Colorado

    22. Houston, Texas

    23. Tucson-Las Vegas, (respecti

    vely Arizona, Nevada.) 24. Seattle-Tacoma, Washington 25. Louisville, Kentucky 26. South Bend, Indiana

    27. Stamford, Connecticut

    28. Utica, New York

    29. Poughkeepsie, New York

    30. Atlantic City, New Jersey 31. Red Bank, New Jersey

    32. Allentown, Pennsylvania 33. Atlanta, Georgia 34. Williamsburg-Charleston,

    West Virginia, Virginia 35. Erie-Elmira, Pennsylvania,

    New York

    36. Nashville, Tennessee

    37. Williamsport, Pennsylvania 38. Lafayette, Arkansas

    39. Counties with zero-estimates

    of Jewish population

    Within each primary sampling unit, secondary strata based on estimat

    ed intra-unit Jewish population concentration, are defined. These

    sub-strata typically divide the primary sampling unit into high, medium

    and low concentration levels for census tracts, zip codes or similar divi

    sions.10 Differential sampling fractions now are applied. Care is

    taken to obtain balance among conflicting substantive and economic con

    siderations, considering both relative homogeneity of respondent charac

    teristics in higher concentrations (where per interview cost is likely to be

    relatively low), and the necessity of having sufficient numbers of cases in the low concentrations (where per interview cost is high). Low concen

    trations are of importance, in light of some evidence that higher

    proportions of assimilated and intermarried Jewish households reside

    in such areas.

    Within each secondary unit, tertiary segments or "chunks are random

    ly chosen and contiguous dwellings (usually 20 to 40) are identified. A pre-listing procedure attempts to provide, as possible, name of house

    hold head. While in high concentrations this procedure adds little, it

    does make it possible in medium and low concentrations to proceed with a rating procedure that further adds design efficiency; expert "judges" are asked to classify a given name into one of four categories: "definitely Jewish'1, "probably Jewish", "probably not Jewish" and

    "definitely not Jewish". Varied sampling ratios now may be applied, sampling households allocated to the first two categories, at a higher rate than those falling within the last two categories. Again, it will be

    10. Op. cit. F. Massarik.

    This content downloaded from 62.122.79.40 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:05:47 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

  • UNITED STATES JEWISH POPULATION STUDY 255*

    noted that the more assimilated may appear more frequently in the

    "probably not Jewish" and "definitely not Jewish'5 classifications.

    Pre-listing also serves the purpose of making possible use of the mails

    as means for eliciting certain basic demographic and objective information. In turn, for various items that require reflection (probably exclusive of those dealing with attitudes), some improvement in response

    quality may be expected. As has been publicized, the 1970 U.S. Census

    has made use of the mails and 'drop-off'-procedures in selected areas.

    While the U.S. National Study is by no means comparable to the Census

    in most respects, two considerations have inclined us to experiment with

    this approach: (1) the high education level of the Jewish population,

    particular its younger segments, suggests that reasonably encouraging

    response rates to a "questionnaire form" may be obtained, (2) a Los

    Angeles study, probinga potentially threatening topic, did obtain res

    ponse rates of circa 30 %. While personal contact typically will be ne

    cessary, some savings in interview time, in excess of cost of mailing mechanics (together with some qualitative gains) may result.

    The U.S. National Jewish Population Study is concerned both with

    demographic and non-demographic issues. There is no question what

    ever that vital statistics death rates, birth rates, fertility data, etc.

    are of great significance in assessing the survival capacity of the U.S.

    Jewish community. At the same time, matters related to Jewish identity also are of major importance. Questionnaire and interview schedule

    content is addressed to these vital statistics and identity topics in balance.

    A working conference on the study of Jewish identity, convened by the U.S. Jewish Population Study staff was held in 1968. This conference

    resulted in many suggestions incorporated in the Study design.

    The Study's questionnaires and interview schedules are almost entirely in accord with the list of "topics recommended for inclusion in question naire", prepared by the Division of Jewish Demography and Statistics, Institute of Contemporary Jewry, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

    III. Some Current Key Issues

    The following is a brief "grab bag" summary of design matters that

    may be of interest.

    1. The Study employs a very comprehensive definition of "Jewishness",

    including minimal self-identification, ancestry, and the like. A screening section in questionnaire and interview schedule implements this defini

    tion.

    This content downloaded from 62.122.79.40 on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:05:47 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

  • 256* FRED MASS ARItt

    2. Random respondent selection is employed in attitudinal queries.

    This, of course, necessitates call backs in many contacts. "Adults"

    only are eligible respondents. 3. There are no substitutions for unavailable or refusing households.

    4. A minimum response rate of 85 % desired with a further...

Recommended

View more >