Leading Jewish demographer disputes study of NY Jews

(JTA) — A leading Jewish demographer is disputing the findings of a recent widely cited survey on New York Jewry.

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Len Saxe, a demographer at Brandeis University, told the New York Jewish Week that the survey overestimated the number of Orthodox Jews in the city.

He agreed with the finiding that the city’s overall Jewish population has grown.

The survey found that about 1.5 million Jews live in New York City and two surrounding counties, and that about one third of those are Orthodox.

The survey was commissioned by the UJA-Federation of New York and titled “Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011.” It was released last month.

Saxe said that data on the Orthodox clashed with data reported by the Avi Chai Foundation in 2009 on the number of Orthodox children in day schools.

“Key outcomes of the study don’t seem to reconcile with ‘hard,’ non-survey data,” Saxe told The Jewish Week.

Steven M. Cohen, one of the study’s authors, told the Jewish Week that “the main contours of our findings” were correct.

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