The UJA-Federation’s study also found that the recent growth in Jewish population largely results from increased birthrates and longevity, rather than from immigration that previously drove the rise in the area’s Jewish population.
Yet the study also revealed that poverty among New York's Jewish residents was also on the rise with nearly 1 in 5 Jewish households considered 'poor' with incomes under 150% of the federal poverty guideline.
The proportion of poor Jewish households is higher than it was 10 years ago. The relative increase has been especially dramatic in the suburbs, where 10 years ago there was very little Jewish poverty.
About 19% of all Jewish households are poor, as are 20% of all people in Jewish households — a considerable increase since 2002, when 15% of people in Jewish households in the New York area lived in poverty.
In terms of individuals, 361,000 people (both Jews and non-Jews) live in poor Jewish households.
6% of NY Jews Israeli
Jewish poverty has increased considerably in the suburbs, but it is still greatest in New York City, where 24% of Jewish households and 27% of all people in Jewish households are poor (compared with 20% of all people in New York City Jewish households living in poverty in 2002).
The study also examined the Israeli community within New York's Jewish population. According to the UJA, an estimated 41,000 households with a Jewish Israeli adult live in the New York eight-county area.
They make up 6% of all Jewish households in the area and contain within them 121,000 Jews and 127,000 people (Jews and non-Jews).
Their employment patterns and income distributions resemble those of non-Israelis, but they do have a higher proportion of poor households than other New York-area Jews (24% versus 18%).
The study also explores the changing nature of Jewish identity and engagement.
Non-denominational Jews and Jews with no religion now make up a third of all Jewish households in the New York area. More than half of all Jews feel that being Jewish is very important. And less-engaged Jews are relatively engaged in Jewish activities that one can perform independently of institutions.
“This new study will be an invaluable tool in shaping how UJA-Federation and others can best respond to the changing needs within the Jewish community,” said Jerry W. Levin, President of UJA-Federation.