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EDITOR QUESTIONS JEWISH FEDERATION ON COMMUNITY'S DEMOGRAPHIC STUDY-IS REVISED ESTIMATE OF13,690 JEWS HERE ACCURATE? WHAT ABOUT CHILD POVERTY?

by Rhonda Spivak, December 7, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDITOR QUESTIONS JEWISH FEDERATION OF WINNIPEG ON THEIR REPORT ON COMMUNITY'S DEMOGRAPHIC STUDY

 

 

 

 

 

 

- IS FEDERATION'S REVISED ESTIMATE OF 13,690 JEWS ACCURATE?

 

 

 

 

 

-WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?

 

 

 

 

 

-WHY HAS CHILD POVERTY RATE DOUBLED?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a report on the demographics of  our Winnipeg  Jewish community which is running at the bottom of this article, the  Jewish Federation of Winnipeg has revised its estimate of the number of Jews in our community downward from $16,000 to 13, 690.  This is based on 2011 data from the National Household Survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up to now, my understanding of the Federation stats is that the Federation has been estimating that the number of new immigrants who have come in the last decade from 2001 to 2011 is approx. 4000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assuming this is the case, that would mean that the native Winnipeg Jewish community (absent the new immigrants) has shrunk by about 2000 people (comparing figures from the 2001 to 2011 National Household Survey). In other words, it seems reasonable to conclude that without the new immigrant population, our Jewish community would have shrunk to under 10,000 people.  In other words, we have a shrinking “native Winnipeg” population, and this ought to impact on future planning, and in particular planning for a merger between synagogues and synagogue membership.(In general, Russian Israeli immigrants have not joined synagogues and for planning purposes I am of the view that it is difficult to assume that they will in the future)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further,  we have hardly any  orthodox Jews in Winnipeg and studies done in the  United States show the birthrate for non-orthodox Jews is 1.7 % , and that intermarriage  and assimilation is increasing, is it not reasonable to assume that the “native” Winnipeg  Jewish population will go down further in the next ten years. ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a result of the Federation’s revised downward assessment of the number of Jews in our community, Winnipeg Jewish Review asked Faye Rosenberg Cohen, Planning and Community Engagement Director and Grow Winnipeg Co-ordinator and Adam Bronstone CEO of Jewish Federation several questions regarding the data.

 

 

 

 

 

The questions and their responses are laid out as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

WJR Question: The demographic data you have is 4 years old. Leaving aside the question of cost of doing a new demographic study from scratch, could you please outline  whether it would be possible to do a new demographic study and get better data to work with? Who would be able to conduct such a study from scratch?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Response from Faye Rosenberg Cohen: I’m afraid you can’t leave aside the question of cost. At a Planners’ Institute several years ago there was a session on doing demographic studies (American communities don’t have the luxury of getting data from the NHS or Census). They recommended reserving $10,000 per year for 10 years and then adding about $30,000 to have enough to conduct a study. That’s a lot of money to spend in order to have data a little younger than 4 years old. It would, indeed, allow us to ask more questions about Jewish community involvement, but that might cost even more, and still leave us with issues that require some additional investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of North American specialists as well as local firms that could help. But $130,000 - $150,000 seems a bit prohibitive, given that demographic studies of this scale require a huge investment of volunteer and staff time as well as dollars. They generally take a year to conduct just to confirm trends you probably already knew about, and are snapshots in time that are still about two years old by the time the analysis and reporting are complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would be more cost effective given that we have the NHS and the advantage of a national demographer to interpret it for the Jewish communities of Canada, to make a small investment, use the data we have and do some smaller studies to delve into a few specific issues that arise from the NHS data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


WJR Question: How much will it cost to do these smaller studies to delve into a few specific issues that you have referred to? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Response by Faye Rosenberg –Cohen: Varies widely based on the techniques and how many people contacted, etc. but not $100.000

 

 

 

 

 

WJR Question: But are we talking 10,000? 20,000? 50,000? Could you give me a range of the cost for these smaller studies, please? Will they be under 50,000 for sure or could they amount to 50,000 or more?

 

 

 

 

 

Response by Faye Rosenberg –Cohen : I’ve commissioned specific pieces of work that range from $1500 to $20,000, although the larger ones always included gifts in kind from talented researchers who gifted their own time and only actually charged for the work they paid their staff for.

 

 

 

 

As I said they vary greatly based on the issue and the scope and the researcher.

 

 

 

 

WJR  also wrote to Adam Brons

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


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