A powerful builder of Jewish affiliation

Some week’s ago,the community celebrated the release of a groundbreaking report entitled “2018 Survey of Jews in Canada: Final Report” by Robert Brym, Keith Neuman and Rhonda Lenton.

The study was conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research in partnership with the University of Toronto and York University.  That it was considered important for the Jewish community of Canada is evident in the fact that it was made possible through the financial support of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal and Federation CJA in Montreal.

The report’s authors tell us that “the research provides the first empirically-based portrait of the identity, practices, and experiences of Jews in Canada, based on a survey conducted in four cities containing over 80 percent of the country’s Jewish population  -Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg”.

The study is rich in detail and perspective about the Jews of Canada. The reason GAJE calls it to the attention of readers is because it reaffirms a message we have been delivering for the past four years. It definitively documents how powerful the day school experience is in building Jewish affiliation for life.

The following two observations about the importance of Jewish education are indicative of the report’s overall conclusions regarding the close connection between having a Jewish education and subsequently choosing to live one’s life demonstratively joined to the Jewish community.

“A key component of continuity is the prevalence of Jewish education, with most Jews in Canada having participated in one or more types of Jewish education when growing up. Jewish education is most likely to include attendance at an overnight summer camp, Hebrew school or Sunday school, but close to one-half have attended a Jewish day school or yeshiva and have done so for an average of nine years. “ (The Executive Summary)

“Based on the Toronto subsample, it is evident that an association exists between attending a Jewish day school and not fully assimilating into the mainstream culture. For some indicators, the likelihood of assimilation falls steadily the more years one attends Jewish day school.” (Report p.38)

The report is somewhat of a mirror. We urge everyone to look at it. They will see unique, exceptional Jewish community of Canada all looking back.


For more information about the study, readers are asked to contact Keith Neuman, Ph.D.

The Environics Institute for Survey Research 416-969-2457, or by email at: keith.neuman@environics.ca

The final report is available at: https://www.environicsinstitute.org/docs/default-source/project-documents/2018-survey-of-jews-in-canada/2018-survey-of-jews-in-canada—final-report.pdf?sfvrsn=2994ef6_2


Shabbat Shalom.


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