Past Projects

Identity à la Carte

May 2011

Research on Jewish identities, participation and affiliation in five Eastern European countries

Over 20 years had passed since the collapse of communist regimes and yet there is still a looming need for accurate and updated information on Jewish populations in Central and Eastern Europe. The main goal of Identity à la carte is to offer a reliable, in-depth and comparable database to Jewish professional and lay leaders and JDC field workers, providing much-needed insight into their populations. It represents a vital piece of information as well in order to project future scenarios and influencing strategic change in the area of community development. Given the scale and the information provided by the survey, Identity à la carte is likely to become the most important scientific study of Jewish identity in Central and Eastern Europe of recent times.

About the survey: More than 1200 face-to-face one hour-long interviews with respondents aged 18-60 years were carried out in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Romania. Top communal leaders as well as other Jewish community professionals and lay leaders were deliberately excluded from the survey as the goal was to survey “common” people, those who are normally “out of the radar”. Furthermore, the sample also included unaffiliated people recruited through the “snowball” technique (one third of the sample). Who was considered Jewish? All those who self-identified as such.