Posted by Pini Herman
The ADL just released a poll, ongoing for over 50 years, finding anti-Semitic attitudes on the rise in America. Shmuel Rosner points out that depending on the year of the ongoing ADL anti-Semitism survey is compared to one could easily say some anti-Semitic attitudes were going down. Random variation may be trumpeted as rising anti-Semitism when it goes up and ignored when it trends downward.
The ADL assiduously gathers police and news reports of anti-Semitic incidents. Increases of anti-Semitism are heralded in the local and national press while declines don’t seem to be news. The undue stress on the anti-Semitic attitudes of non-Jews by the organized Jewish community has long been a topic of Jewish communal discussion.
Jewish population surveys ask Jews about their experiences with anti-Semitism and this approach can be much more useful in gauging the dimensions of the phenomenon and proceeding towards practical remedies.
The 1997 LA Jewish Population Survey found that 27 percent of the respondents had reported personally experiencing anti-Semitism in the past five years with half of these people saying that the experience was “being singled out unfavorably as “Jewish.”
In LA, intermarried Jews reported high levels of anti-Semitic experiences (37 percent) as compared to in-married Jews (19 percent). This finding shouldn’t be surprising to married people who have experienced arguments which got out of hand and unpleasant experiences with extended families.
I have yet to see one advocate for Jewish in-marriage in the organized Jewish community make the public argument that if a Jew wants to personally avoid experiencing anti-Semitism, marrying another Jew would be a good idea.
5.22.13 at 11:54 am | Jewish Voters Shoo-In Three Co-Ethnics
5.20.13 at 1:23 pm | Cedars-Sinai Among Costliest in U.S.
5.16.13 at 11:13 am | Jewish Community Centers - From Many to Few
5.9.13 at 6:53 pm | Canadian 2011 Census of Jews Released
5.2.13 at 2:03 pm | Anti-Exaltation League Now Forming for Jewish. . .
4.29.13 at 9:55 am | Catering to Wealthy Jewish Donors Idiosyncratic. . .
5.22.13 at 11:54 am | Jewish Voters Shoo-In Three Co-Ethnics (276)
5.20.13 at 1:23 pm | Cedars-Sinai Among Costliest in U.S. (105)
5.16.13 at 11:13 am | Jewish Community Centers - From Many to Few (61)
October 31, 2011 | 12:57 pm
Posted by Pini Herman
Recently, the LA Times described the Occupy Movement in LA as secular and missing the religious component of other US social movements. I did greet Rabbi Jonathan Klein, whom I spotted one evening by his kippah at a distance at Occupy LA, but there were few other kippot there. Informal “Jew spotting” made me feel that while Jews were a minority, we were still respectably represented. It’s what I would expect as a growing number of Jews don’t identify Jewish by religion and would not be likely to be wearing a yarmulke.
As a demographer of Jews, when I look at surveys that ask the respondent’s religion, I first look at the Jewish column and then my eyes goes to the “None” or “No Religion” column. The US Jewish population is comprised of over a third of “Jews, No Religion,” a strange term that may describe a lot of our friends and families.
Years of experience surveying Jews have taught me that the “no religion” column has a lot of Jews. The characteristics of self-identified Jews and Nones often closely associate in terms of education, income, political attitudes. Ariella Keysar and Barry Kosmin have researched this phenomenon extensively.
Jewish population studies show that the population of Jewish “Nones” has 4 sources of origin:
A. Born Nones - Children with two Jewish parents (i.e. secular or Cultural Jews) raised
in no religion.
B. Born Nones - Children of intermarriage brought up in a compromise “religiously
C. Persons who switch out of Judaism.
D. Children of intermarriage raised in Christianity who switch to No Religion (or
atheism, agnosticism, humanism etc.)
The “No Religion” fraction of the Jewish population has risen from around 20% in 1990 to
around 37% in 2008.
This rise of the Jewish “Nones” is in the context of a secularization of the total US. During the period between 1990 and 2008 the U.S. adult population of “Nones” grew from 8% to 15% increasing from 14 to 34 million persons for a gain of 138% while the Jewish “Nones” adult population rose by 58%.
These figures suggests that the Jewish population is further ahead in the process of secularization than Americans in general, but the trend may be tapering off for Jews. The US adult Jewish-No religion population rose by an average of 28,000 a year in 1990s and 24,000 year in 2000s. Secularization of the population is especially strong in the “unchurched” Western U.S.
Whether this tapering off of the Jewish “Nones” is continuing is something that we won’t know as no National Jewish Population Survey has been schedule in the foreseeable future.
October 24, 2011 | 12:45 pm
Posted by Pini Herman
It just got harder. Time Magazine’s (10/31/2011 edition) on the Occupy movement definition of Who Are the 1%?:
1% = Average yearly income: $1,530,773
99% = Average yearly income: $54,792
That’s 3 times $506,553. Tax Policy Center’s, the annual income threshold for entering the top 1 percent of U.S. household income that I accepted last week.
This is a classic example why averages are not used to calculate income thresholds. Extremes of incomes influence the calculation of averages. The median income, 50 percent of houshold are below and 50 percent of households are above the point of income one is interested in is a much better indicator.
Time Magazine apparently used the $506,553 Tax Policy Center cutoff point and then averaged the incomes of the 1,175,000 U.S. households who together own approximately 40 percent of the wealth of the country. This created the astronomical $1,530,773 yearly income that would put only 456 US CEOs earing more last year and put thousands including Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer ($1.35 million) and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet ($.45 million) in the lower earning 99 percent. As much as I’d like to see the prominent and Jewish CEO Steve Ballmer a member of the 99%, I don’t think so.
October 17, 2011 | 10:52 am
Posted by Pini Herman
According to the Tax Policy Center, the annual income threshold for entering the top 1 percent of U.S. household income is $506,553.
So how many Jews earn more than a half million dollars a year? Probably less than a third of the highest income income category or less than 3 percent. So most Jews can look around and assure themselves that they are part of the 97 percent if not the 99 percent.
By my estimate in the U.S. Jews constitute about 6 percent of the 1,175,000 U.S. households who together own approximately 40 percent of the wealth of the country, but Jews are disproportionately represented among the wealthy who have come out for greater taxation of their own wealth.
Jews seem to be well represented at OccupyLA. Jewish median household income for Los Angeles in 1996 was $52,050. (Median household income is the figure that half of incomes are above and half are below.) In 1978, the median income (adjusted to 1996 dollars) was $47,685, pointing to an improvement. If no change in Jewish household incomes occurred in the past 14 years, 1996’s Jewish median income updated to 2011 is $75,200 compared to $57,400 for all LA households.
In Los Angeles of 1996 there were a third more Jewish households, 9.4 percent, in lowest income categories of below $14,400 (in 2011 dollars) than the 6.8 percent households earning at or above $289,000 (in 2011 dollars). The largest group, 33 percent, were earning between $72,000 and $144,400 (in 2011 dollars).
October 10, 2011 | 1:31 pm
Posted by Pini Herman
Resolved to get married this new Jewish Year? There’s still plenty of time to benefit from the healthful effects of marriage.
Some women might even want to wait until Paul McCartney Goes for a 3rd Jewish Wife.
I used to feel guilty about pursuing the protective effect of marriage on JDate. For years the common wisdom in demography had been (when you accounted for all other factors) that married women didn’t make any gains in years of life, but married men did.
So, what did I as a man have to offer the woman of my dreams? She might live just as long whether she married or not.
Michael Rendall and others at RAND, in Santa Monica, have shown that women too, have significant gains in life expectacy, though not as great as men. An unmarried man’s odds of dying in the next year are 2.4 times higher than the odds of an married man at age 25, falling to 1.7 times at age 50, and 1.2 times at age 75. For unmarried women versus married women, the greater odds of dying if unmarried are 1.7 at age 25, 1.4 at age 50 and 1.1 at age 75.
“Marriage protection” ceases at age 84 for women and age 89 for men.
Perhaps marriage doesn’t really protect its incumbents but that healthier men and women select themselves and each other into marriage. Maybe we just pick the healthier potential partners.
So post those healthy looking pictures on your dating website profile. Great Free Love ideas are also available from Annie Korzen, the Bargain Junkie.
October 3, 2011 | 12:39 pm
Posted by Pini Herman
Looking at our modest marketing campaign at the Movable Minyan, a lay-lead egalitarian non-denominational congregation, less Jews outside our established community are showing interest and coming to Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services at this year.
71 percent of Los Angeles Jews attended Jewish religious services at least once a year, fifteen years ago in 1996 when the last LA Jewish Population Survey was fielded. At that time, one-third (34 percent), were actually dues paying members of a synagogue. When people were asked what might be their reason for joining or not joining a synagogue, three factors stood out: the quality of the rabbi, the need to send children to religious school, and the friendliness of the congregation.
The 23 year-old Movable Minyan doesn’t have a rabbi, only six past and present members who have become Conservative and Reform rabbis after participating in the Do-It-Yourself Judaism that characterizes the minyan. We have children’s services but not religious school and we like to think we’re friendly. So the Movable Minyan isn’t typical, but I’m wondering whether other High Holiday services were also less attended?
The presence of the High Holidays content websites by year on the Internet in English has grown from around 700,000 in 2000 to around 2 million in 2011. This trend may be indicative of High Holiday outreach by religious institutions or changing High Holiday consumption by Jews. Do High Holiday services streamed on the Internet influence actual High Holiday attendance at synagogues?
The rabbi’s High Holiday sermon is streamed. Less people are having school-age children and temple memberships may be the expense to cut. Attending services in one’s shorts or pajamas may be preferable to the friendliness of the mostly once-a-year synagogue crowd. Has physical attendance and the in-gathering of the Jewish community at High Holiday synagogue services declined?
September 27, 2011 | 11:40 am
Posted by Pini Herman
Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States. Fueling the surge in deaths are prescription pain and anxiety drugs that are potent, highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. Among the most commonly abused are OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma.
Jews have an unearned reputation for sobriety. The 1997 LA Jewish Population Survey found that one-in-forty, or 6000 LA Jewish households reported having at least one member who needed assistance with problems of alcohol or substance abuse. There is a higher acceptance of use of substances such as marijuana in the Jewish community than the general population.
The Jewish population is growing older and that does not mean a lessening of the problem. Even Biblical Noah turned to drink in his old age. Alcohol and substance abuse among the elderly is a hidden epidemic. It is believed that about 10% of this country’s population abuses alcohol, but surveys revealed that as many as 17% of the over-65 adults have an alcohol-abuse problem.
As we age as a community, the proportion of Jews who turn to alcohol and and substance abuse is certain to increase. Currently, my conservative estimate is that there are at least eight thousand Jewish households in Los Angeles having at least one member who need assistance with problems of alcohol or substance abuse.
It would not be surprising if there was a disproportionate number Jews dying of drug deaths within this general societal trend. Only a new Jewish population can confirm whether the problem has worsened in the past 14 years..
September 19, 2011 | 12:40 pm
Posted by Bruce Phillips
In honor of the Federation turning 100 and in anticipation of the upcoming Autry National Center exhibit on Jews of Los Angeles, I decided to look back to see where Jews lived using the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census data available from the University of Minnesota Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. These are the original interviews from the Census that can be released only after 70 years have passed to protect privacy. This series is extremely popular with genealogy buffs who can go back and find their grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents, and so on. I identified Jews using a combination of born in Russia or having a Russian born parent, speaking Yiddish or having a Yiddish speaking parent, or having one of the 37 most common “Distinctive Jewish Names.” A Jew was defined as someone who met one of these three criteria.
The period 1920-1930 was a period of explosive growth both for Los Angeles and its Jewish community. The population of Los Angeles County more than doubled and the Jewish population more than tripled, growing from less than 30,000 in 1920 to more than 90,000 in 1930. In 1920 more than one in five Jews lived in downtown. By 1930 that percentage dropped to 7%, not because Jews were leaving downtown (the downtown Jewish population actually grew a bit), but because the new migrants to Los Angeles were pouring into the “East Side” (i.e. Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights). The East Side Jewish population grew more than seven-fold from 3,000 to almost 25,000. By 1930 one in four Los Angeles Jews lived in the East Side. Almost as many Jews (19,000) lived in Hollywood, Los Feliz, Echo Park, and Silverlake. Jews were more likely than non-Jews to live in these two areas.
By 1950 major changes were already underway. The Jewish move to the Valley was already taking off and the Fairfax area, which accounted for only 5% of Jews in 1930, would account for 17% twenty years later. At mid-century the leadership of the Jewish Community Council (which had not yet merged with the Federation) understood that 1950 was not the same as 1930, and commissioned the very first Jewish population study in Los Angeles in that same year. The forthcoming release of the 1940 IPUMS file, combined with 1920 and 1930, will provide a unique look at the formative years of what would become the second largest Jewish community in the United States.
|Atwater, Glassel Park, Highland Park, Eagle Rock||1%||3%|
|Boyle Heights-Lincoln Heights||11%||26%|
|South of downtown (South of MLK, East of Figeuroa)||22%||10%|
|West Adams-University Park-Jefferson Park||10%||9%|
|Southwest LA (w. of Figueroa) Beach Cities-Inglewood||3%||7%|
|Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake, & Echo Park||16%||20%|
|Bev Hills West LA Santa Monica||0%||2%|
|Midtown, Mid Wilshire, Westlake Park||9%||5%|
|Palms Mar Vista & Venice||0%||2%|
|San Fernando Valley, Burbank Glendale||0%||2%|
|Long Beach & Harbor area||4%||1%|