Leading Jewish demographer disputes study of N.Y. Jews

(JTA) — Len Saxe, a leading Jewish demographer, said a widely cited survey on New York Jewry overestimated the number of Orthodox Jews in the city and its environs.

Saxe, a demographer at Brandeis University, told The New York Jewish Week that the data on the Orthodox in The Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 clashed with that reported by the Avi Chai Foundation in 2009 on the number of Orthodox children in day schools.

The newer survey, which was commissioned by the UJA-Federation of New York and released last month, found that about 1.5 million Jews are living in New York City and three surrounding counties, and that about one-third are Orthodox. Saxe agreed with the finding that the city’s overall Jewish population has grown. 

“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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