University of Southern California

Center for Religion & Civic Culture

Southland Jews go uncounted

Image of Southland Jews go uncounted

CRCC Senior Research Fellow Bruce Phillips has been been featured in a USC article detailing his research and efforts to catalog the demography of the Jewish population in Southern California.

An excerpt from the article:

"How many Jews are there in Los Angeles? Hard to say, really: It’s been 17 years since anyone counted. That’s seven years longer than in Boston, New York, Seattle or Chicago, where the local Jewish Federations (umbrella groups for some 450 Jewish communities across North America) dutifully conduct a population survey every decade. But the last count in Los Angeles was taken in 1997, and there has never been a Jewish survey of Orange County.

But without a current population survey, it’s guesswork.

Impatient for new data, Phillips teamed with USC researchers Diane Winston and Richard Flory to study the Jewish population of Southern California by other means. The scholars requested raw results from the 2007 Pew Religious Landscape Survey, a national poll of 35,000 Americans, and painstakingly teased out California-specific statistics.

While the sample is small, it hinted at a community 'in the midst of a sea change' Phillips recently wrote on “Demographic Duo,” his blog at the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles."

According to the article, the team of researchers will present their their findings at the next meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Read the entire article here.