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jewish palm beach


jewish palm beach

Something truly remarkable is happening in Jewish Palm Beach. In 2018, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County worked with the Cohen Center at Brandeis University – one of the country’s leading research entities – to launch a groundbreaking Jewish Community Study. We wanted to learn what today’s Jewish community looks like and how we can envision our future. The results of this study will drive how Federation works with philanthropists, supporters, community partners, programmatic innovators and policymakers to meet the rapidly evolving needs and aspirations of our community. At the same time, your generosity, volunteerism and leadership continue to set a new bar for achieving our mission to build one of the most inspiring, welcoming and vibrant Jewish communities anywhere.

The growth and change we are experiencing in Jewish Palm Beach are unprecedented. We are not living in the Palm Beaches of 30, 20 or even 5 years ago.This is now one of the largest, fastest-growing and most rapidly changing Jewish communities in North America: • This Jewish community is incredibly unique in that it is growing, diverse and multigenerational. Families with children (particularly interfaith families), professionals, Boomers and seniors are calling the Palm Beaches home in record numbers. • Growing diversity is bringing drastic changes to how people want to experience Jewish life and connect to their Jewish values, traditions and identity. • The needs and numbers of economically insecure people in our Jewish community are increasing exponentially. While the Palm Beaches may be prosperous, this is a community of significant and growing need – with a rapidly increasing number of vulnerable people of every age and life stage.

So, what’s next for Jewish Palm Beach? The numbers and ideas that follow lay the groundwork for how our community will make decisions, determine strategic priorities and allocate resources over the next decade. Achieving our vision will take the collective energy and creativity of the entire community. Let’s work together to make the Palm Beaches into the shining example of Jewish communities everywhere. Sincerely,

Ira M. Gerstein Board Chair

Michael Hoffman President & CEO

All comparisons are in relation to the 2005 Palm Beaches Jewish Community Study.

Jewish Palm Beach is home to one of the largest Jewish populations in North America – larger than Miami,Baltimore, Atlanta or Detroit…

+21% population


Jewish households

people live in

Jewish households

…but Jewish people are dispersed throughout our expansive geography – with significant growth expected to continue.

76,700 (46%) in the South

% 80

of Jewish households live here at least 10 months/year

Boynton Beach and Lake Worth

45,000 (27%) in the North Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter

21,700 (13%) in the Central area Palm Beach Island and West Palm Beach

11,700 (7%) in the West

Wellington and Royal Palm Beach

11,700 (7%) in Martin County

Stuart, Palm City and Jensen Beach areas



growing community



is getting


where we are today Federation offers children and families an array of opportunities to learn and connect to Jewish values:


of the Jewish population is under the age of 50 (16% in 2005)


of Jewish households have children (10% in 2005)

24,000 free Jewish books and music are delivered each year to families through PJ Library® and PJ Our Way™ 1,100 children took part in Mandel JCC’s Camp Shalom Jewish experiences over the summer 10,000 people joined together this year for Federation speaker, networking and family events, held in areas where they live and work

Median age dropped from 70 to 60

ourvision Build a future with compelling and accessible opportunities to experience Jewish life.

Imagine having access to limitless Jewish experiences that are nearby and pertinent to your interests and life stage. We want to provide opportunities for our community to get together for holiday celebrations, thought-provoking programs on topics of every interest, and learning experiences for kids and adults that foster connections to Jewish values and identity. Whether you’re a Boomer in Boynton Beach, a busy professional in Palm Beach Gardens, a family with children in Wellington or someone else – we want to make Jewish life approachable, compelling and convenient. 3

Families with children are planting roots in the Palm Beaches ‌but only a small number at a rapid pace‌

22,200 74%

children live in Jewish households (+88%)

of children in Jewish households are being raised with a connection to Judaism (religiously, secularly or culturally)


of children in Jewish households are being raised by single parents

Children are being raised with new and various connections to Jewish identity.


of children are enrolled in Jewish learning opportunities. of local Jewish children are % 7 enrolled in Jewish preschool

of Jewish children are enrolled % 11 in any form of Jewish school

(including part-time and day school)

of Jewish children have not % 77 taken part in Jewish camp

Secularly/culturally Jewish

families & children

where we are today We are dedicated to providing meaningful experiences that connect children and families to Jewish values: 700 teens have received Federation scholarships this year to participate in Jewish travel, camp and cultural experiences 2,000 students participated in Jewish educational experiences through Mandel JCC, Meyer Jewish Preparatory School and our teen programs 150 children with special needs have participated in the Yad Hebrew School for Children with Differing Abilities, led by Federation’s Friedman Commission for Jewish Education (CJE)

More than half of young Jewish families are interfaith. of Jewish children % 56 are being raised by interfaith parents


of interfaith parents have not yet decided how to raise their children in terms of religion

ourvision Provide Jewish educational opportunities that enable the next generation to build a strong connection with their Jewish identity.

Parents in the Palm Beaches should not have to think twice about giving their child a Jewish education and experiences that nurture Jewish identity. If a parent would like their child to have a strong understanding of their Jewish values and traditions, our goal is to make powerful opportunities just a simple click or phone call away without any obstacle standing in the way.


In one of the most prosperous communities in the country, thousands are struggling to make ends meet...


the Jewish community describe % of themselves as just getting along, nearly poor or poor


of Jewish households are not confident in their ability to save for their children to attend college


of Jewish households are not confident in their ability to live comfortably during retirement

‌and many need help accessing basic health and human services.

31% 6k 12k


of people age 35-49 have someone in their household with a chronic health issue or disability households are seeking services from a Jewish communal provider but not receiving them Jewish households rely on a social service benefit, such as food stamps and Medicaid

people inneed

Thousands of seniors and Holocaust survivors are facing poverty,health issues, food insecurity and isolation.


5,000 of the estimated 12,000 Holocaust survivors who live in Palm Beach County are living in poverty

14% 38


of seniors over the age of 80 have a chronic health issue or disability





of seniors describe themselves as poor or just getting along

of seniors suffered economic hardship in the past year

of seniors receive public benefits, such as Medicaid

where we are today

We care for vulnerable seniors, Holocaust survivors, food-insecure families and people with disabilities: 26,000 kosher meals are delivered each year to local frail seniors and Holocaust survivors through our partnership with MorseLife Health System 30,000 meals have been packed and delivered to food-insecure families through Federation’s Jewish Volunteer Center service projects 200 people with special needs are leading more fulfilling lives through programs at schools, camps and residential services, led by our partners Alpert Jewish Family Service (JFS) and Friedman CJE

Meet the basic needs of vulnerable people here and around the world, and enable them to live with dignity. With growing numbers of vulnerable people in our local and global communities, we aspire to care for anyone who needs our help – reflecting the core Jewish value of tikkun olam (“repair the world”). We can work with our partners here, in Israel and in 70 countries across the globe to ensure people facing challenges have the ability to live a life of respect and independence – whether it be by providing food, medicine or financial means to afford basic needs. 7

Four in five adults consider Judaism to be a part of their daily lives‌

64% 39% 37%


(people 55-75 years old) represent the largest segment of our Jewish population (34%) 73% feel highly connected to our local Jewish community

attended at least one class or lecture on a Jewish topic in the past year

of Jewish adults engaged in a volunteer activity in the past month

‌but people are connecting to Jewish life in new, non-traditional ways.

15% 45% 49%


of Jewish adults donated to at least one Jewish organization in the past year

of people are involved with a local synagogue (national average: 31%) of adults took part in Jewishfocused cultural activities, such as books, music, museums and TV shows

of adults use technology to access Jewish information


where we are today Federation brings our community opportunities to connect to Jewish life in a variety of ways:

People want a safe, welcoming community that stands up to antisemitism:

68% 8k

5,000 people have participated in Jewish Volunteer Center service projects, such as packing and delivering meals 1,500 Jewish families participated in community programs celebrating Jewish traditions and holidays 70,000 people tune in on-air and online to Federation’s TV news magazine show, mosaic

of local Jewish adults are very concerned about antisemitism in the U.S. people participated in Federation’s programs to learn about and combat antisemitism and bigotry

our Create relevant social and cultural Jewish experiences where people feel comfortable, safe and welcome. What if – no matter what your interest – you could easily find a Jewish experience that relates to what you are most interested in? Are you enticed by tasting and cooking Jewish foods? Experiencing Israeli culture? Celebrating Jewish holidays? Volunteering or advocating for Jewish causes? We aim to provide opportunities that pique your interest, while also serving as safe, inclusive experiences that create a strong statement against rising antisemitism.


Jewish Palm Beach is overwhelmingly committed to Israel‌

88 70% 60%

local Jewish adults feel % of connected to Israel


followed news about Israel in the past month of local Jewish adults have been to Israel (national rate: 43%)

Jewish young adults have % of been to Israel, largely due to Birthright Israel and other experiences

‌but there are opportunities to strengthen connections to the Jewish state.

61 38%

people age 25-49 have % of never been to Israel of people who have not been to Israel cited cost, safety and convenience as primary reasons


people age 18-49 say they do % of not feel very connected to Israel

Israel 10


where we are today Federation nurtures strong connections with the global community and people of Israel through travel, advocacy and celebrations: 2,000 people have participated in local experiences in the past year that celebrate the culture and people of Israel 1,000 people have participated in Federation missions and travel experiences since 2005 3,000 local teens and adults have participated in Israel-related advocacy and education efforts through Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council, Israel Program Center and Jewish Teen Initiative

25,000 Jewish college students enjoy access to Israel-themed programs through Hillel’s presence on 28 campuses across Florida

ourvision Provide local opportunities to demonstrate pride and connection with the Jewish state, while caring for the people of Israel.

We want every person who supports Israel to feel proud, safe and welcome to do so. Never been to Israel? Look to Federation as your way to make your dream possible. Interested in Israel’s exciting culture, technology or cuisine? We are your avenue to experiencing aspects of the Jewish state that deepen your connection. Meanwhile, we remain more dedicated than ever to working with our global partners to care for Israel’s people and bridge connections with our local community.


How will you build the future of Jewish Palm Beach? Now that you have a clear picture of the state and future of your Jewish community, you are well-equipped and informed to join Federation and create a more inspiring, welcoming and vibrant Jewish Palm Beach. Visit to see more about our Jewish Community Study and tell us how you’d like to be involved and make a difference.


jewish palm beach


Make your community a better place through Federation’s variety of opportunities based on your interests.

Contribute to Federation and empower our work. Visit Take a hands-on role to address the causes you care about. Visit Serve in a leadership role for Federation. Find your opportunity at

Explore the many ways to be involved based on your interests and stage of life. Visit Leave your legacy in this community. Contact


Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County improves lives together with our network of local and global partner agencies and programs:

JRFS Melvin J. & Claire Levine




onew rld A program of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County




onew rld A program of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County







Special thanks to our dedicated corporate partners who play an integral role in our work:

Media Sponsors

LRN Public Media


The 2018 Palm Beaches Jewish Community Study was possible through the remarkable generosity and vision of the following community leaders and partners: Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation Arlene Kaufman & Sanford Baklor Rita & Charles Bronfman Nancy & Joel Hart MorseLife Health System


We thank and celebrate the leadership of the Jewish Community Study Task Force. Jim Baldinger, Chair Alyson Seligman,Vice Chair Andrew Comiter Rabbi Leonid Feldman Paul Fine Malka Fingold Libby Fishman Christopher Goldberg Alan Haspel Alan Newman Lynn Peseckis Ellen Rampell Brad Saft Sarah Shullman Nancy Sims Holly Sokoloff Amy Terwilleger Elissa Vessal


jewish palm beach

MISSION Strengthen Jewish identity, energize the relationship with Israel and meet human needs that are uniquely the obligation of the Jewish community

VISION Developing the human and financial resources necessary to ensure a vibrant Jewish future

FEDERATION LEADERSHIP Ira M. Gerstein Michael Hoffman

Board Chair President & CEO

2019 Health & Human Services Organization of the Year

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Building 1 Harvard Circle, Suite 100 West Palm Beach, FL 33409

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Jewish Community Study - What's Next for Jewish Palm Beach  

Jewish Community Study - What's Next for Jewish Palm Beach  

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