Jewish School Study, 2001 [United States] (ICPSR 4550)

Version Date: Jun 11, 2009 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Barbara Schneider, University of Chicago

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The Jewish School Study was undertaken to determine the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of Jewish education, how Jewish day schools are formed and organized, how Jewish schools contribute to the maintenance of continuity of a 400-year tradition, how adolescent Jews develop their identity, and what role religious education plays in this development. Questions also asked how Jewish adolescents and their parents participate in Jewish life, express their feelings about being Jewish, the role of spirituality in their lives, how they learn about Jewish life, and their relationship/ties with Israel and the Jewish people. Part 1, the Parent Survey, asked parents of students in Jewish schools about the financial costs of religious education, their religious background, Jewish religious practices of their household, as well as their own religious beliefs and spirituality. The survey also sought answers to questions on the parents' reasons for their choice of Jewish school, how involved and in what ways they were involved in their child's school and education, their involvement in the Jewish community, their level of knowledge on various subjects related to Judaism, and their opinions on their own parenting. Other information collected included marital status, income, family status, family origins, education, and employment. Part 2, the Student Survey, asked students about their religious background, the religious practices and experiences in their household, and their own Jewish practices. Students were then asked about how they spent their free time on Saturdays and weekdays, how they and their parents felt about being Jewish, and what types of rules their parents had for them. Additionally, students were queried about their values, friends, and future plans; knowledge of various subjects relating to Judaism; and their opinions of their school, teachers, and their own academic performance. Background information collected included gender, grade in school, name and types of schools attended, household composition, language spoken in the home, and parents' education and employment. Part 3, the Teacher Survey, asked teachers about the settings they worked in and the salary and benefits of those positions. Respondents also were asked about the classes they taught, the use of various teaching methods and media, and their roles and responsibilities. The survey also asked the teachers about their training and professional development, their perceptions and attitudes about their school, parental involvement, resources and facilities, and school goals. Additionally, teachers were asked about their religious background, Jewish religious practices of their own households, and their personal religious beliefs and spirituality. Background information collected included type of postsecondary education, gender, age, place of birth, marital status, income, and future career plans.

Schneider, Barbara. Jewish School Study, 2001 [United States]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-06-11.

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Spencer Foundation (2000-055)

To protect respondent privacy, school names have been removed.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
  1. Special collaborators to this study include Adam Gamoran (University of Wisconsin), Ellen Goldring (Vanderbilt University), and Bethamie Horowitz.

  2. This study originally was produced by the University of Chicago in 2000.


All students were asked about personal and family engagement, as well as the extent of engagement, in the following four primary areas: (1) Adolescent ritual practices, (2) Family ritual practices, (3) Student cultural affiliation, (4) Family cultural affiliation.

Students in grades 7-12 were sampled from nine schools in the Chicago area. Six of the schools were "Supplementary," meaning that they met during the weekends or weekday afternoons for approximately two to five hours per week. These schools were reform, reconstructionist, and conservative in their orientation. Three of the schools were day schools (one nonorthodox and two orthodox). A total of 834 students were chosen from schools: 321 from Supplementary schools, 170 students from 1 nonorthodox day school, and 343 students from 2 orthodox day schools.

Teachers, students, and parents of students enrolled in Jewish schools in the Chicago, Illinois, area.


83 percent



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Schneider, Barbara. Jewish School Study, 2001 [United States]. ICPSR04550-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-06-10.

2009-06-11 The coversheets for the questionnaires were mistakenly named as "Codebook". The coversheets have been replaced with the correct naming convention: "Data Collection Instrument".

2009-06-10 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Curation and dissemination of this study is provided by the institutional members of ICPSR, and data is available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. To determine if you are at a member institution, check the list of ICPSR member institutions, or learn more about becoming a member.

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