Jewish Tidewater: A survey for the future

October 8, 2019

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It’s been 18 years since Tidewater’s Jewish community conducted any type of survey—and that one focused on demographics. Called the 2001 Jewish Community demographic Study, it revealed where Jewish people lived, how old they were, who comprised what households (ages and number of people) and many other such details.

A lot has happened since then—congregations have come and gone, the Sandler Family Campus was built, new schools have emerged. it’s time again to ‘take the Jewish community’s temperature’ and learn about Jewish Tidewater for 2020 and beyond.

With shifts in degrees of religious involvement and overall engagement, the organized Jewish community wants to “create a strategic framework for our future,” says Betty Ann Levin, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater executive vice president/CEO.

“To do so, we need to know where people are on their Jewish journey, what types of services and activities they want, how they want to be connected and contacted.”

After much research, The Melior Group of Philadelphia was contracted to conduct a Community Needs Assessment to determine the answers to all of those questions and more. “The emphasis for this project is community,” says Levin. All Jewish agencies and synagogues are participating in the project and all will benefit from the results.

Meetings have involved presidents and executives of agencies and synagogues.

The project officially launches next month with a series of Forums. These gatherings will help pre- pare the questions for the upcoming Jewish Tidewater 2020 Community Survey, which will be conducted online.

Through the Forums, “we hope to increase awareness of the survey, engage as many different parts of the Jewish community as possible—including those who are not currently involved — and provide a channel of communications for those outside the reach of existing communal organizations to have their voices and opinions heard,” says Levin.

Jewish Tidewater Forums are scheduled for:
Wednesday, October 23, 7–8:30 pm, Sandler Family Campus
Thursday, October 24, 12–1:30 pm, Sandler Family Campus
Thursday, October 24, 7–8:30 pm, Ohef Sholom Temple

“Please consider participating in one of these events,” says Levin. Our future Jewish Tidewater will appreciate your time.”

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