Building Communal Identity and Developing Strategic Initiatives

The Santa Clara County Jewish Community Study, funded by Chai House, Inc. and commissioned by Jewish Silicon Valley, is the first study designed to catalyze Jewish communal partnerships and collective action across the entire county. While the county’s Jewish community has traditionally been divided between areas in and around San Jose and areas to the north around Palo Alto and Los Altos, this study has deliberately taken a broader view. It has sought to transcend the traditional divide and begin, instead, to build a Santa Clara County Jewish communal identity and set the foundation for initiating collective strategic initiatives.

Community Study Goals:

Uncover & Clarify

the concerns, needs, preferences, ideas, and suggestions of people who identify as Jewish or are somehow connected to Judaism.

Provide reliable & relevant data

for determining funding priorities for supporting and enhancing Jewish life in Santa Clara County.

Understand and increase accessibility

of the spiritual, racial, gender & sexuality and economic diversity of the Jewish community.

Assess programs, activities & assets

that exist spatially within the region.

Establish a continual learning network

that is responsive to changes and growth within the community from this point onward.

Process & Findings

The community-wide survey and organizational inventories were conducted before the October 7, 2023, attacks against Israel and the subsequent Israel-Hamas war. The majority of the focus groups were conducted after October 7, 2023. While October 7th and its aftermath are watershed events in Israel and for the United States Jewish community, the study’s key findings remain valid and valuable in the post-October 7 world for several reasons. Chief among these is the Jewish community’s trajectory toward greater collaboration and stronger partnerships. October 7th and its aftermath made that trajectory more salient than ever, and amplified the need to build on the communal momentum that the study has set in motion.

The study process comprised several distinct components.
After initial data was collected and analyzed, the team hosted shareback sessions with key stakeholders to collectively identify the most pressing issues and opportunities.
The study found seven critical topics that are top of mind for the Jewish Community, identified seven specific groups of particular interest to community members, and revealed several opportunities to address challenges for each.

Topics:

Groups:

Community Maps

Call To Action:

“Funders and organizations should feel empowered to use the study’s robust range of data and findings as a foundation for helping to determine funding priorities, as well as for informing their current practice and strategic planning,” said Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia
Announcing Phase 2

Jewish Silicon Valley is extending its collaboration with Rosov Consulting on a second phase of the community study. During this second phase, community members will work through a structured and professionally facilitated framework with the goal of creating and implementing a collective set of initiatives addressing the noted opportunities from the study.

Rooted in a new way of collaborating and thinking about addressing the needs of the Jewish community, initiatives will include specific key performance indicators and evaluation milestones.

Contact

If you have any questions regarding the report, or if you are interested in seeing the full, raw data,
please contact: Rachelle Vogler, Community Study Project Manager, at: communi[email protected].

For media kit and marketing graphics please email [email protected]

If you have any general questions about the Community Study,
please contact: Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia, Chief Community Officer, at: [email protected]

Previous Studies

This Community Study has been informed by and builds upon previous Bay Area-wide surveys. Feel free to peruse the following to gain a better understanding of the previous studies that have informed the 2024 Connecting and Mapping Jewish Life in Santa Clara County study.

2017 Previous Study – A Portrait of Bay Area Jewish Life and Communities

2023 Survey of Bay Area Jewish Identities

Acknowledgements

On behalf of Jewish Silicon Valley, we are excited to share with you the 2024 Santa Clara County Jewish Community Study: Building Communal Identity and Developing Strategic Initiatives. We hope the robust range of data and findings in this study will help you better understand the diverse, interconnected, and vibrant Jewish Communities of Santa Clara County, and will guide you (and all of us) in strengthening Jewish life in our region.

We are deeply grateful for the trust and support of the board of Chai House, Inc., which motivated and fully funded this study. We are also grateful for our partnership with the dynamic team at Rosov Consulting including: Dr. Wendy Rosov, Founder and Principal; Dr. Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz, Senior Director and the study’s lead; Dr. Evelyn Dean-Olmstead, Senior Project Associate; Megan Brown, Project Associate; and Brian Blumenband, Associate Director. We appreciate the team’s enthusiasm in working with us to craft an integrated, multi-faceted study designed to encourage communal collaboration and collective action. We are grateful to Dr. Helen Kim for guiding us to think through issues of equity and inclusion as we designed and implemented study components; as well as to the study’s advisory committee members: Trista Bernstein, Susan Frazer, Nathaniel Bergson-Michelson, Scott Kaufman and Danielle Patterson for their ongoing support. We are grateful to Rachelle Vogler, whose expert project management contributed immensely to the study’s smooth execution.

We are also deeply grateful to all of those community members who contributed their time and thought to the study’s components: the participants in stakeholder engagement sessions, focus groups, individual interviews, and shareback sessions; along with the survey and organizational inventory respondents.

This collective effort, which engaged hundreds of community members, shows what is possible when we join together in service of a worthy common cause. It is our hope that this effort becomes the groundwork for additional collective engagements in service of a more vibrant, resilient and impactful Jewish community in our region. May this report spark ongoing curiosity, innovation, and community connections in the months and years to come, and may we, collectively, go from strength to strength.

Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia
Chief Community Officer, Jewish Silicon Valley

Daniel Klein
CEO, Jewish Silicon Valley

Avery Kaufman
Board Chair, Jewish Silicon Valley