Mosaic image created by the students of Alpert JCC’s Early Childhood Education center.

Jewish Long Beach is set to unveil the findings of a groundbreaking study on the local Jewish community, marking the first comprehensive research in nearly 70 years. The study delves into various aspects, such as the composition, identification, and geographical distribution of the Jewish population in the Long Beach and West Orange County area. Moreover, it highlights existing gaps in communal programs and services that hinder affiliation and participation in Jewish institutions.

President of Jewish Long Beach’s board of directors, Richard Marcus, Ph.D., expressed enthusiasm about the study, stating, “This research has provided us with an extensive collection of data and insights regarding the Long Beach-area Jewish population, which is estimated to be around 40,000 individuals residing in approximately 20,000 households. One surprising revelation was that nearly 30% of Jewish people in our region identify as non-white. Many Jews from traditionally marginalized communities reported that the current Jewish communal infrastructure fails to adequately address their needs and interests. Our responsibility now is to utilize this data to serve the diverse cross-section of our Jewish community.”

The study also revealed that one in seven respondents reported experiencing antisemitism since 2020. This comprehensive research was conducted by Brandeis University in collaboration with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. Jewish Long Beach commissioned the study as part of The Jewish Federations of North America Research Benchmarking Project, with support from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and other benefactors.

The study’s findings will be accessible to all local congregations, agencies, and organizations focused on Jewish life. Jewish Long Beach hopes that this initiative will enhance the development of Jewish identity and continuity for generations to come across all Judaic institutions in the area.

To present the study’s results and engage in a question-and-answer session, a panel discussion will take place on May 22 at 6 pm at the Alpert JCC, located on the Weinberg Jewish Long Beach Campus at 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach, CA 90815. Panelists will include Zach Benjamin, CEO of Jewish Long Beach and Alpert JCC, Richard Marcus, Board President, and Professor Janet Aronson from Brandeis University, who served as the study’s principal researcher. Admission is free, but RSVP is requested, and light refreshments will be provided.

For further details about the Long Beach-Area Jewish Community Study, please reach out to Zach Benjamin, CEO, at [email protected], or Dr. Richard Marcus, President, at [email protected].

As “Your Center for Life,” the Alpert JCC offers a welcoming space where individuals can engage in early childhood education, after-school programs, fitness activities, aquatics programs, summer camps, and explore Jewish life, culture, and education.

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