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December 2011

Leonard Saxe 2

Dear Friends,


It seems especially appropriate this year that Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, coincides with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. In a season clouded by economic and social problems, the light and joyfulness of the season is particularly welcome. With the spirit of the season in mind, I would like to celebrate publication of two recent works.


Just released is Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings (Oxford University Press) by Charles Kadushin, Distinguished Scholar at the Cohen Center and Steinhardt Social Research Institute. It is a tour de force and explains social network theory and its relevance for understanding a host of social phenomena. Although "social networking" has entered the vernacular and become one of the most discussed sociological concepts, its theoretical underpinning is poorly understood. For those interested in the application of some of these ideas to the Jewish community, see Charles' Sklare Award lecture, recently published in Contemporary Jewry.


Today we are also releasing a final version of our latest American Jewish population study, Estimating the Jewish Population of the United States: 2000-2010. The report represents prodigious work by a research team, led by Elizabeth Tighe at the Steinhardt Social Research Institute, and documents our finding that the U.S. Jewish population has grown to 6.4 million individuals. In addition, we describe our current efforts to understand the characteristics of this population. The study was the basis for my presentation at our recent Socio-Demography of American Jewry conference. Estimating the Jewish Population provides a detailed discussion of our methods for estimating the number of American Jews, a summary of findings about the size of the Jewish population, and a description of its growth over the last decade. The report is designed to provide the background for later, more policy-focused, discussions of the size, character, and evolution of the U.S. Jewish population.


Many thanks for your continuing interest and support of our work. Best wishes for a joyous holiday, filled with light.


Chag same'ach,


Len signature
Leonard Saxe, PhD, Director, 
Estimating US Jewish Population

Estimating the Jewish Population of the United States: 2000-2010

Estimating US Jewish Population Identifying a rare population such as Jews in a vast multicultural sea of individuals is an exceedingly complex endeavor, made even more difficult by restrictions on government collection of data on religion. Although NJPS 2000-2001 grappled with many of the difficulties, ultimately, for purposes of population estimation, it was an unsatisfying product. Our initial concerns about NJPS and similar surveys to identify and characterize the Jewish population led us to consider alternatives to the NJPS approach. Using meta-analytic methods, we estimate  the Jewish population of the United State to be 6.4 million, substantially higher than estimates reported elsewhere. 
Understanding Social Networks: 
Theories, Concepts and Findings
Understanding Social Networks
Despite the swift spread of social network concepts and their applications and the rising use of network analysis in social science, there is no book that provides a thorough general introduction for the serious reader. Understanding Social Networks fills that gap by explaining the big ideas that underlie the social network phenomenon. Written for those interested in this fast moving area but who are not mathematically inclined, it covers fundamental concepts, then discusses networks and their core themes in increasing order of complexity. Kadushin demystifies the concepts, theories, and findings developed by network experts. He selects material that serves as basic building blocks and examples of best practices that will allow the reader to understand and evaluate new developments as they emerge. Understanding Social Networks will be useful to social scientists who encounter social network research in their reading, students new to the network field, as well as managers, marketers, and others who constantly encounter social networks in their work.


Order information:


Oxford University Press (desk copies available for instructors)

Volume 5, Issue 8
In This Issue
Estimating the Jewish Population of the United States
Understanding Social Networks
Featured Publications
Understanding Social Networks 
Understanding Social Networks

Estimating US Jewish Population
Estimating the Jewish Population of the United States: 2000-2010

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Constructs is the e-newsletter of Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies,   Steinhardt Social Research Institute, and  Fisher-Bernstein Institute