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Jewish Population in U.S. is 4,087,357, Census of Religious Bodies Estimates

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The Department of Commerce made public yesterday the following release concerning its findings as to the number of Jewish congregations in the United States and the total of the Jewish population in the country on the basis of figures gathered for the year 1926 in the census of religious bodies:

“The Department of Commerce announces that, according to the returns received, there were in the United States in 1926, 2,948 congregations and 4,087,357 persons of the Jewish faith living in the cities and the villages in which the congregations were located. Because these data for 1916 were not collected on the same basis, no comparable figures are available.

The total expenditure for 1926, as reported by 1,235 congregations, amounted to $16,445,235, including $13,294,953 for current expenses and improvements, $1,131,719 for benevolences, etc. and $2,018,563 not classified. The value of synagogue buildings (including furniture and equipment), as reported by 1,131 congregations for 1926 was $100,890,669.

Of the 2,948 congregations reporting in 1926, 2,855 were located in urban territory (incorporated places of 2,500 inhabitants or more) and 93 were in rural areas. Of the total number of Jews living in the places having congregations 4,071,889 were in urban territory and 15,468 in rural areas; and of the total expenditures, 1,202 urban congregations reported $16,334,214 and 33 rural congregations, $111,021. The value of synagogue buildings reported by 1,100 urban congregations was $100,317,169 and that reported by 31 rural congregations was $573,500.

Sabbath schools were reported by 554 congregations in 1926, with 4,247 officers and teachers and 69,439 pupils; and 631 congregations reported week-day schools with 2,183 officers and teachers and 70,429 pupils.

All figures for 1926 are preliminary and subject to correction.

The census for religious bodies is taken every ten years. The last census was taken in 1916. Dr. Murphy, in charge of the Division of Census of Religious Bodies explained that the actual work of collecting the information about Jewish religious bodies has been conducted on behalf of the Department of Commerce by Dr. H. S. Linfield head of the Bureau of Statistics of the American Jewish Committee, New York. Dr. Linfield sometime ago was appointed special agent of the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce in order to carry out this work. He was assisted by several prominent Jewish leaders and was compensated and provided with a clerical staff by the Department of Commerce for this purpose.

Dr. Linfield is now preparing a detailed survey of the results of his work which will be published in the near future in a bulletin by the Department of Commerce. This Bulletin will includ a description of the various forms of Jewish activities carried on in the United States.

One of the results of this census has been a compilation by Dr. Linfield’s staff of a card index of synagogues, rabbis and other Jewish communal leaders and Jewish organizations in various parts of the country which Dr. Murphy considers will be a source of invaluable information. Dr. Murphy was high in his praise of the work done by Dr. Linfield and his associates.

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