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Phone Survey Launched to Explore Jewish Population in the Greater Denver-Boulder Area

Supported by the Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Colorado, Sturm Family Foundation, and Rose Community Foundation, researchers encourage participation, including among non-affiliated or marginalized Jews

Denver, CO – To gain insights and data on Jewish life and people in the Greater Denver area, researchers are launching the telephone survey portion of the Greater Denver Jewish Community Study in late August and will continue with this work for six to eight weeks. Survey participants will be selected randomly to receive a phone call on a cell or land line from the Social Science Research Center based at Cal State Fullerton (Caller ID will say “CSU Fullerton” or “1-657-278-3044”). All information will remain confidential. Researchers hope for strong participation from the community to ensure the highest quality of study results.

Past studies of the greater Denver area revealed a high rate of interfaith households. This study marks the first time in the nation that non-Jewish interfaith spouses will receive a full interview. Another first for local studies of this type is that more extensive questions are included for LGBTQ individuals, Jews of color, and grandparents. Options for Jewish engagement are greatly expanded to allow for a broad diversity of how respondents “do Jewish.” The study research team is also inclusive and sensitive to gender issues, involving several leading female researchers and soliciting input from others with extensive experience in the social research field.

Several innovative methods and ground-breaking questions make this study unique among other local Jewish community studies:

  • From the outset, the Greater Denver Jewish Community Study sponsors and researchers have emphasized the importance of reaching out to Jews who are not affiliated or engaged and who may feel marginalized by their experiences with the greater metro area Jewish community.
  • Rather than using organization lists as a primary source for the sample of survey participants, this study combines three sampling methods to access a much broader cross section of the population and reach deeper into the community.
  • The study includes low-density geographic areas, which many local Jewish community studies eliminate, to reach Jews who may be less connected.

To help shape the phone survey, two online forums solicited input from all Jewish people within the study area to respond to questions, contribute questions, and raise issues essential for the research.

A select group of ten thought partners is helping guide the study process, including Judy Altenberg, Chair, Rose Community Foundation Jewish Life Committee; Lisa Farber Miller, Senior Program Officer, Rose Community Foundation; Josh Gold, MazelTogether Manager; Shere Kahn, Project Manager; Rob Klugman, Rose Community Foundation Jewish Life Committee; Jay Strear, JEWISHcolorado; Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz, Director, Berman Jewish Data Bank; Julie Shaffer, Executive Director, Oreg Foundation; David Shneer, Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and Professor of History, Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, who also serves on Rose Community Foundation Jewish Life Committee; and Emily Sturm, Co-Managing Director, Sturm Family Foundation.

The Greater Denver Jewish Community Study will be released to the public upon completion, expected to be in early 2019. The Study anticipates 1,675 people responding to the survey. 
Visit https://rcfdenver.org/what-we-do/programs-and-initiatives/greater-denver-jewish-community-study/or email denverjewishcommunitystudy@gmail.com for more information.

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound III," because I'm a smart Cookie, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was adopted from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and have many friends there also looking for homes.

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