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2018-02-09 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


February 9, 2018  RSS feed
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How Jewish Are We?

Pinellas and Pasco Jewish Community

Here is a sampling from findings of the Pinellas and Pasco Counties Jewish community study. Because the demographer conducted the 1994 and 2017 studies, we can see how the community has changed over time. Because he also has done scores of similar studies in Jewish communities throughout the nation, sometimes using common questions, it is possible to see how we stack up against other Jewish communities on certain issues. For full details, go to

Size, distribution of Jewish population
• There are 18,000 Jewish households in Pinellas and Pasco with a total of
28,000 Jews and 8,000 non-Jews living in those homes.
• In Pinellas County the number of Jews dropped from 25,200 in 1994 to
23,450 in 2017.
• Pinellas/Pasco is the 39th largest Jewish community in the U.S.
Geographic profile
• 8% of Jewish households are in the top ZIP code, 34698 – Dunedin and
20% live in the top three ZIP codes: 34698 - Dunedin, 33701 – downtown
St. Petersburg, and 34684 - Lake Tarpon. This reflects the fact that the
Jewish population of Pinellas/Pasco is geographically dispersed and that
there is no “core area” of Jewish settlement.
• 5% of Jewish households have always lived in Pinellas/Pasco. In total, 36%
moved from other parts of the South (including 5% from Tampa), 35%
from the Northeast (including 20% from New York, 7% from New Jersey),
17% from the Midwest (including 5% from both Michigan and Ohio) and
5% from the West.
• 56% have lived here for 20 years or more. In 1994, that figure was 26%.
• Based on the migration of Jews into and out of the area, the number of Jewish
households in Pinellas/Pasco is expected to remain about the same for
the next few years.
Age distribution
• The median age for Jews in the Pinellas/Pasco is 62, up from 46 in 1994.
The median age for all Americans is about 38.
Household size and structure
• The average Jewish household size is 2.03 persons, down from 2.37 in
Pinellas in 1994.
• 10% of those households have children up to age 17. In 1994 in Pinellas it
was 25%.
• 56% of couples in Jewish households are intermarried.
• 66% of the children in those households are being raised Jewish or partly
Jewish identification
• 3% of the Jewish respondents identified as Orthodox (the same in ’94), 21%
as Conservative (23% in ’94), 30 percent as Reform (39% in ’94) and 47
percent as “Just Jewish” (36% in ’94)
• 98% said they were proud to be Jewish, 85% said they have a strong sense
of belonging to the Jewish people and 70% said they have a “special
responsibility” to care for Jews in need.
Part of Jewish local community
• 9% feel very much part of the Jewish community, 25% somewhat, 25% not
very much and 43% not at all.
Overall involvement
• 81% of Jewish households are involved in Jewish activity in that they are
either associated with the Jewish community, observe a religious practice,
contain a Jewish respondent who attends services at least once a year,
or donated to a Jewish charity in the past year (88% in ’94).
Israel connection
• 34% of Jewish households have a member who visited Israel.
• 17% of respondents are extremely emotionally attached to Israel, 26% very
attached, 38% somewhat attached and 19% not attached.
• 22% of Jewish households donated money to the Jewish Federation of
Pinellas and Pasco Counties in the past year (34% in ’94). The average
donation per household was $66.
Here is how we fared when compared to other Jewish communities
(between 40 and 55 communities were surveyed on the topics below,
except where noted).
Religious practices
• 49% – always/usually participate in a Passover Seder (ranked lowest)
• 58% – always/usually light Hanukkah candles. (ranked third lowest)
• 52% – have a mezzuzah on the front door (ranked fourth lowest)
• 17% - light Sabbath candles. (ranked eighth lowest)
• 44% – always/usually have a Christmas tree at home (ranked third highest)
Synagogue attendance
• Second lowest - 14% - attend synagogue services once a month or more
• Second highest - 45% - never attend synagogue services.
Jewish organization membership
• 15% - hold a membership in a Jewish organization. (ranked third lowest).
Jewish organization membership was 36% in Pinellas in 1994.
Jewish education – children
• 54% of children from 5-17 who have received some formal Jewish education
(ranked lowest)
• 46% of children from 13-17 have received some formal Jewish education
(ranked lowest)
Social service needs
• 18% of Jewish children age 0-17 in need of programs for children with
learning disabilities or other special needs. (ranked highest among 30
communities )
• 18% of those 75 and older are need in-home health care. (ranked third highest
among 35 communities)

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