Washington Jews Make Up 4.7 Percent of Capital Population

The nation’s Capital and its suburbs, comprising a total population of 1,734,000, included 80,900 Jews last year–4,7 percent of the area’s total population. Four-fifths of these Jews are native-born Americans; almost a third of the employed Jews here are professionals; one-third of the local Jews have annual incomes of $10,000 or over, half of the Washington area Jews own the homes in which they live.

These statistics are among new data made available here by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington in an exhaustive, 200-page survey entitled “The Jewish Population of Greater Washington in 1956. “The survey, issued by Isaac Franck, executive director of the Community Council, was compiled on the basis of interviews and detailed statistical tabulations by Stanley K. Bigman, project director of the division of research of the American University here. The survey also shows that:

Of the 27,000 of the area’s households in which at least one person is Jewish, 3,300 households are “mixed”–Jewish and non-Jewish.

Nine out of ten of the Washington Jews over the age of 25 have had some high school training, and over half have attended college for at least a year. More than nine-tenth of those under 20 are attending school.

A third of the employed Jews here, including half of the professionals, are government employes.

More than half the families reported total family incomes of $7,000 or more annually.

Half of those Washington Jews who are foreign-born are from Eastern Europe, chiefly from Russia and Poland. Half of the native-born are of native-born parentage. Of the foreign-born, two-thirds arrived in the United States before 1933.

Most of the Jewish women in the area belong to at least one Jewish organization; most of the Jewish men belong to no Jewish organization. Half of the Jewish families reported that they belonged to no synagogue. Of those who do belong to a synagogue, a fourth profess the Conservative denomination, an eighth are Orthodox, and one-sixteenth belong to a Reform Congregation.

Among all the Jews here, 90 percent contribute funds annually to the local, non-sectarian Community Chest and to the Red Cross; while 80 percent said they contributed to the United Jewish Appeal.

Between 80 and 90 percent of the men have had “some Jewish education”–while among the women the figure is 60 to 70 percent. Three-fourths of the boys, 13 to 19, have had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.

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