Jewish College Students in America
October 31st, 2022
In January 2022, the Jim Joseph Foundation commissioned a study of Jewish college students. Working with the foundation as well as with a survey research and analytics firm, College Pulse, Dr. Eitan Hersh designed a study to capture the attitudes and behaviors of today’s four-year college students. The study includes a national survey of 2,000 Jewish undergraduates, plus a comparison survey of 1,000 non-Jewish undergraduates. In addition to the 35-question survey, the study includes five focus groups of students enrolled at the following universities: SUNY Binghamton, Ohio State, UC Santa Cruz, University of Chicago, and Tulane University.
The goal of the study is to examine who Jewish students are, what drives them and motivates them, where they find connection and meaning, and how being Jewish does or does not play in their college lives. The study answers questions such as: How connected do Jewish students feel to Jewish life on campus? What do they want out of their Jewish experiences? To what extent does the campus political climate affect their engagement with Jewish life? The study places special emphasis on the large share of Jewish-identifying students who have little to no interaction with organized Jewish life.