For 2013-14, $370,099 has been allocated to Jewish organizations and congregations. The allocable amount is inclusive of five external allocations ($98,805) that were pre-committed and three internal allocations ($86,244).
JFNM Executive Director Sam Sokolove discusses the survey
The Jewish Federation of New Mexico has commissioned the first-ever comprehensive survey of New Mexico’s Jewish community to determine its demographic composition, assess current needs of Jewish residents and plan for the future.
Beginning this month, the 2014 New Mexico Jewish Population Survey research team will begin a two-phased process to learn more about Jewish New Mexico’s attitudes and behaviors, and to identify subsets requiring specific community services.
“After hearing the same frustrations from our partner agencies and congregations, as well as from our own leadership, we understood that we need a much clearer understanding of who we are, where we are and where we’re headed,” says JFNM Executive Director Sam Sokolove. “With this study, we’ll at last have information to help New Mexico’s Jewish agencies, congregations and communal organizations more effectively serve our Jewish population for years to come.”
Through the survey, the Federation will be able to provide a portrait of:
- The affiliated Jewish population of New Mexico and its demographic profile. This includes: age structure, gender, place of residence, education (both secular and Judaic) income level, racial composition, migration patterns, beliefs, affiliation, and conversion rates.
- Unaffiliated households, and barriers to participation among non-affiliated Jewish individuals.
- The motivations, needs and challenges of many different sectors of New Mexico’s Jewish community.
The study is being conducted by Denver-based Kupersmit Research, a boutique strategic research firm that offers cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative tools to assess diverse populations. The New Mexico project consultant is Marina Arbetman-Rabinowitz, Ph.D of Albuquerque.
The bulk of the survey will be conducted online, from a sample of emails provided by JFNM, via a web-based survey that Kupersmit Research will program and host. Mailed questionnaires will also be distributed, and a sample of New Mexico residents will also be called through Random Digit Dialing.
The results of the survey will introduce follow up queries to be investigated through a second phase, including focus groups and other qualitative methods. Interviews led by trained local professionals, followed by analysis and presentation, will be conducted.
The second phase of this project will allow for a more detailed picture of patterns of communal behaviors, including;
- The behaviors of the unaffiliated, how they differ from affiliated individuals, their most pressing concerns, and barriers to affiliation.
- Future needs and expectations for community members, both affiliated and unaffiliated,
Additionally, the focus groups will examine differing behaviors by age, marital status (single, intra- and inter-married), income level, and ethnic origin (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi, converts, and Conversos).
The proposed time line for the project is from February to July to develop and distribute the study questionnaire, conduct the survey, and analyze data.
“We’re going to be reaching out to community organizations and community leaders throughout the state, because the effectiveness of this survey is dependent on their participation in helping get the word out, developing the questionnaire, and then working with the Federation to implement collaborative strategic planning to shape our future together.”
Other Jewish communities that have conducted similar studies have used their findings to help guide the creation, expansion or relocation of community facilities, services and programs, along with the need for associated outreach, engagement and fundraising efforts. Long-held beliefs about the community may be confirmed or dispelled, and new and surprising information may be revealed.
For more information about the Jewish Federation’s Jewish Population Survey, call 505-821-3214, and check this website regularly.