Baltimore Jewry shows sharp rise in a decade


BALTIMORE (Baltimore Jewish Times) — The number of Jewish households in the greater Baltimore has grown substantially in the past dozen years.

A new demographic study of the Baltimore Jewish community also shows that Baltimore’s Jewish population has jumped by 2,000 people since the last survey, conducted in 1999.

Baltimore is home to 93,400 Jews, according to the 2010 Greater Baltimore Jewish Community Study conducted by Ukeles Associates on behalf of the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

The number of households with Jews jumped from 36,000 to 42,500 in the last decade. There are now 108,100 people living in homes with Jews, up from 99,900 in ’99. 

The study is the first major community survey to measure the impact of the national recession as well as the first to include cell phone interviews, which comprised about 10 percent of the total, according to demographer Dr. Jack Ukeles.

It found that the total percentage of Orthodox Jews in the Baltimore area soared from 21 percent to 32 percent; Jews that say they are “just managing” economically or worse shot up from one in five to one in three; and people from age 85 have gone from being 9 percent of the 65-and-older population to 20 percent.

Some 87 percent of the Orthodox young adults aged 18 to 34 are married, according to the study, and 91 percent of non-Orthodox Jews in that group are single.

The study found that 30 percent of children of intermarriages are being raised Jewish.

Michael Hoffman, the Associated’s Vice President of Community Planning and Allocations, said his staff and volunteers are only beginning the lengthy process of calculating how the data differs among age groups, geographic areas, religious identity, intermarried families and other groupings. That, in turn, will help guide the planning and allocations process in the future.

More than 1,200 interviews were completed in 2010 between February and May. The survey has a margin of error of 5.3 percent. 

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