​Count Me INdy: 2017 Indianapolis Jewish Community Study

The documents below paint a portrait of the Indianapolis Jewish community. They tell the story of our size, where we live, our practices, what we care about, and how we connect Jewishly.
This information will form the basis of many critical policy discussions over the coming months and years, and will help us to select strategies to keep our community vibrant.

 Community Presentation Video — Oct. 30, 2017



Executive Summary
       (as of Oct. 30, 2017)



Slides from Community Presentation
                                              (as of Oct. 30, 2017) 


This 2017 Jewish Community Study was made possible through the generous support of The Glick Philanthropies, Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), The Robert and Toni Bader Charitable Foundation, Gershman Partners, Brad and Nancy Bell, Chuck and Karen Cohen, Bruce and Linda Frank, Leon Mordoh, Dr. Allan Arkush z”l, the estates of Gladys Nisenbaum, Barb and Dr. Stephen Bailie, Charles Sydney, and others, with additional support from the 2016-2017 JFGI Annual Campaign. We thank these forward-thinking individuals and foundations for their understanding of the importance of a study. We also want to thank Offer Korin, immediate Past President of the Jewish Federation, whose leadership was instrumental in moving this project forward.


We collaborated with two highly experienced and trusted professionals:

  • Dr. Ira Sheskin Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Miami (FL), and Director of the Jewish Demography Project of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies.
  • Dr. David Dutwin Executive Vice President and Chief Methodologist of SSRS, Social Science Research Solutions.

Surveying was completed April-July 2017. Because phone numbers were generated using a technique known as random digit dialing (RDD), the phone was dialed 306,834 times to complete the 600 interviews. To learn more about how community studies are conducted, check out the Berman Jewish Data Bank at jewishdatabank.org. The complete 900-page main report, 130-page executive report, and 850+ slides on the Indianapolis study will be available in December 2017.


The 2017 Jewish Community Study is not just a snapshot of who we are. It also serves as a valuable resource for the Federation, our agencies, local synagogues and other Jewish organizations, to help them understand the makeup of our Jewish community and determine how to best meet the needs of our constituents. The Federation in partnership with the community will ultimately apply the information gathered from this study to fulfill our philanthropic and communal responsibilities. We are proud of the successful completion of the 2017 Indianapolis Jewish Community Study and look forward to utilizing the data as a tool to improve the quality of Jewish life and to address emerging needs in Indianapolis. We are confident the information revealed through this study will be essential for Federation and all Jewish institutions in our city, as we strive collectively to strengthen Jewish life and enhance connections to Jews in Indianapolis, in Israel, and worldwide.


The executive summary above includes highlights and key trends our community leadership and researchers identified. We invite you to read these findings and share any thoughts or reactions to this or the full report at CommunityStudy@jfgi.org.