As you read this, the organized Jewish community is busily compiling its millennial American Jewish Population Survey, trying to find out just what this community looks like and cares about. If the last survey, from 1990, is any indication, several key areas of our experience will go uninvestigated: familial relationships, domestic labor, feminism in Judaism—and other subjects that help reveal important things about the texture of our lives. With this survey, we hope to understand those areas better, and to reflect your experiences. So when the papers run the “story of the American Jewish community,” LILITH, with your responses, will be able to tell the rest of the story.
Why answer these questions? First and foremost, because the Jewish community’s studies generally don’t ask about gender and about our closest relationships. This is the chance to have your choices and experiences be counted. We’ll publish our collective portrait in an upcoming issue. And of course your responses will help us to publish about the topics you care about most….
While we’ve tried to reflect many life choices below, we know you have others on your mind. Please feel free to take up the margin space to let us know how you really feel. And when you’re done—this is key—seal it up and send it back. Thanks, and our best wishes for a liberating century!
Domestic Lives & Labor
1. In addition to myself, my household consists of:
2. If you have children, who would you say has the most responsibility for them?
My partner does
Someone else does
n/a (not applicable)
3. Among your children, are there those who are
4. Did you undergo fertility treatments in order to have children?
5. Have you ever given a child up for adoption?
6. Are you responsible for the care of an elderly person?
7. Has your immediate family been affected by someone’s having responsibility for an older person?
8. Which of these statements best describe your relationship with food (check all that apply)
I am always dieting
I diet frequently
I worry about what I eat
I read labels on packaged foods for content
I can describe everything I have eaten in the past 5 days
I eat healthfully
I eat whatever I want
I keep kosher
9. Who in your household usually
I do partner both of us child parent other no one it varies
shops for groceries
serves the meal
clears the table
lights Shabbat candles
pays the bills
plans family vacations
calls the babysitter
calls the relatives
makes social plans
Up Close and Personal
10. Relationship status
single, never married
11. Is this the relationship status you wish to have at this time?
12. Are you satisfied with your current relationship status
Sexually? yes no n/a
Financially? yes no n/a
Intellectually? yes no n/a
In terms of domestic labor? yes no n/a
13. Do you identify as
14. If you are in a relationship, right now, is your partner Jewish?
15. How did you meet your current partner?
at a Jewish holiday celebration
at a Jewish singles event
at another kind of singles event
through a dating service/personal ad
at a bar
16. If you are single right now, do you date
religion doesn’t matter
preferably someone outside my religion
17. Which of these statements, if any best reflects your feelings about marrying a Jewish man or a Jewish woman:
“I’d rather not.”
“I’d like to marry Jewish but I’m happy dating ‘out.'”
“If I could only find one…”
“My parents would be thrilled!”
18. At what age did you first have (if applicable)
sexual intercourse _____
a wedding _____
a baby _____
19. If you were to get married this week, would you change your last name to that of your partner?
Spirit and Celebration
20. I’ve participated in these women-oriented Jewish activities:
regularly sporadically once or twice never
Rosh Chodesh group
Women’s tefillah group
All-women’s Torah study
Ceremony/Ceremony of Wisdom
A healing ceremony
21. In which other Jewish activities do you regularly participate (check all that apply)
light Shabbat candles
go to synagogue on the High Holidays
belong to a synagogue
attend synagogue more than once a month
make a Passover seder
lead a Passover seder
build a sukkah
practice Jewish meditation
study Jewish texts alone, in a group or at a school
Jewish cultural activities
pray regularly alone
visit the sick/bikkur cholim
22. My synagogue service of choice is/would be:
23. Is Judaism your religion of birth?
24. Do you participate in the religious ceremonies or worship of other faiths?
25. If yes, which religion(s)
26. I would describe the gender balance in leadership at my synagogue as
27. I would describe the gender balance in ritual participation at my synagogue as
28. In my worship/observance I (check all that apply):
wear a kippah
wear a tallit
have an aliyah
say kaddish (when appropriate)
attend an egalitarian synagogue/minyan
29. Last year LILITH ran an article entitled “Shabbat Without Shopping Carts” about a super-mom who designed her own sabbath rules. If you could create your own Shabbat, what three “freedoms from…” or “freedoms to…” would make it most restful for you?
30. Which of the following groups do you think need more attention from Jewish communities and synagogues? (check all that apply)
the sick or bed-ridden
gays and lesbians
31. Some people set out a cup of Miriam or an orange on their seder plate as a symbol of women’s renewed place in Judaism. Do you have either?
32. Who is a female biblical figure who comes to mind as a POSITIVE character?
33. Who is a female biblical figure who comes to mind as a NEGATIVE character?
34. Who is a biblical character (of any gender!) with whom you identify?
35. Would your high school friends consider you more religious than you were growing up?
36. Are you raising your children (or planning to raise them) as Jewish?
Girls Girls Girls
During this year, LILITH is launching a project on Jewish American girlhood. We would like to know your thoughts…
37. When you were a girl, which of the following were positive formative experiences for you as a Jew?
Jewish summer camp
youth group (name of group __________)
trip to Israel
38. Which were positive formative experiences for you as a girl?
Jewish summer camp
youth group (name of group __________)
trip to Israel
39. What areas should be addressed in programs for teen girls? (Please check your top three choices.)
body image/eating disorder
“JAP” images and other negative stereotypes
intergroup relations (black-Jewish for instance)
Social action/tikkun olam
sex and dating
40. What’s the best program – ongoing or one-time – for teenage girls that you know of?
41. Do you belong to any Jewish women’s organizations?
42. If yes, which ones?
43. Do you volunteer your time to (check all that apply)
general Jewish organizations
Jewish women’s organizations
general women’s organizations
44. Have you experienced sexist attitudes or incidents during your participation in Jewish organizations?
45. What is your most significant free-time activity?
46. Which articles in this issue did you read first?
47. Are there subjects you would like to see covered in the future?______________________________
48. Do you consider yourself a feminist
depends who’s asking
49. Do you consider the significant men in your life to be feminists?
50. How do you express your feminism? (check all that apply)
I vote for women candidates
I mentor women/girls
I bring up my children with a feminist consciousness
I support feminist organizations financially
I volunteer at feminist organizations
In my attitude
I read LILITH
51. How do girls and young women generally react when you use the word “feminism”?
52. What do you think?
strongly agree agree somewhat agree
somewhat disagree disagree strongly disagree
a. Women today have the opportunity
to be equal with men in Jewish
religious institutions/synagogue life.
b. Women today have the opportunity
to be equal with men in the Jewish
c. Women today have the opportunity
to be equal with men in the working
d. Women today have the opportunity
to be equal with men in the home.
e. Judaism can never overcome its
The Way You Live
In the sometimes hectic pace of life, what do you have time for? We’re interested in your day-to-day activities.
53. Do you buy from mail order catalogues?
54. Do you buy kosher food?
55. What are your favorite magazines?
56. Approximately how many books do you read a year?
more than 40
The Basic Bio
59. Educational level
60. Employment status
employed full time
employed part time
61. What is your household income?
Wanna Talk More?