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A ONCE IN A DECADE OPPORTUNITY

The Kaplan Centre at the University of Cape Town and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) in London will be carrying out a survey of South Africa’s Jewish community early in 2019.

The nationwide Jewish Community Survey of South Africa will be the first such study for 14 years. It will gather data on Jewish life in South Africa which will be used by community planners and service providers to ensure a vibrant, Jewish future.

Jewish communal life significantly benefits from access to reliable and timely data. Unfortunately, data on small groups like the Jewish community are hard to come by and there has been no question on religion in the South African Census since 2001.

The Kaplan Centre has conducted several such studies on the Jewish Community in the past, with the last one carried out in 2005 and before that in 1998. As the only national survey of the entire Jewish community, these studies act as an essential barometer of a variety of trends within Jewish life in South Africa.

The survey will be online and the questionnaire is being prepared in collaboration with major communal organisations in South Africa. The survey will adhere to the highest international polling standards and data will be completely anonymous.

The survey is open to any adult in the South African Jewish community. Specifically, aged 18 and above, Jewish and currently living in South Africa.

The objective of the study is to provide practical and actionable information about the current condition of the community, as well as identifying trends likely to shape its future development. The study, moreover, will provide data upon which community organizations can make informed planning decisions. The survey asks questions on a range of variables that include demographics, schooling choices, family structure, migration, identity, religious practice, health and welfare needs, and views of South Africa and Israel.




JCSSA 2019 is the Jewish Community Survey of South Africa (JCSSA). It is an online nationwide survey of Jewish people in South Africa and is the first study of its type for fourteen years. Jewish community organisations, groups, synagogues, Jewish schools and welfare services rely on accurate and reliable data to help prioritise resources and plan for the future. JCSSA has been specifically designed to provide this vital information.

The survey seeks to hear from any Jewish adults (age 18 and over) who currently live in South Africa.

Whilst you must consider yourself to be Jewish, we do not specify any religious, cultural or affiliative criteria.

If you have recently arrived here and are planning to stay then you are eligible; if you are visiting from abroad for work or a holiday you are not eligible; if you used to live in South Africa but have since moved to a different country you are also not eligible.

The survey is being conducted by The Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research based at the University of Cape Town and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) in London, UK.

The Kaplan Centre is an autonomous research entity with its own governing body and is the only one of its kind in South Africa. It seeks to stimulate and promote the whole field of Jewish studies and research with a special focus on the South African Jewish community. JPR is the only independent institute in Europe that specialises in researching the state of the contemporary Jewish communities. Both organisations have a wealth of experience in conducting local and national Jewish community studies and both were previously involved in conducting a national survey of South African Jews in 1998.

This project is being funded by the Kaplan Centre for the benefit of the community.

Fieldwork for the survey is being conducted online between March 2019 and May 2019.

The JCSSA has partnered with major communal organisations to send out email invitations which will provide recipients with a direct link to the JCSSA Survey.

You may also receive a link to the survey by someone you know who has already completed the survey.

If you are eligible to take part (see above) and have not already received an invitation to complete the survey, you may request one through the JCSSA website or Facebook page by submitting your email address. We will then send you an email with a link to the JCSSA survey. Note we will only send out the survey through this channel once the initial fieldwork phase has been completed.

For the survey to have maximum impact we need as many people as possible to participate. Once you have completed the survey you will be provided with a link that you can send to friends and family. It is very important the survey reaches people who may not have heard about the survey or who do not live close to the main Jewish centres. Please spread the word to anyone eligible to participate.

Yes, there is a prize draw to win one of 3 Takealot gift vouchers valued at R2000 each. Once you have completed the survey you will have the option to enter this draw.

The survey team carried out an extensive consultation exercise prior to constructing the questionnaire in order to address as many of the key issues facing major Jewish communal organisations in South Africa as possible. At the same time, the survey team has sought to ensure a level of continuity with two previous national studies (in 1998 and 2005) as well as other international Jewish surveys. The key themes are: Jewish communal and religious life, Jewish education, Israel, migration, antisemitism, discrimination, partnerships, health and welfare, economics, charitable giving and volunteering and demographics.

The survey is estimated to take between 30 and 40 minutes to complete. This is a comprehensive survey on all aspects of Jewish life in South Africa and is a small investment given it only takes places once a decade. The survey is engaging and easy to complete.

We would encourage you to try and complete the survey in one session. However, if you do stop and close your browser whilst completing it you can easily return to it at any time by clicking the link you were sent in your email invitation.

The survey is only available online but has been designed to be as accessible and easy to complete as possible.

We do not recommend you answer this survey on a mobile phone as it has not been designed for small screens.

Definitely. Some of the questions in the survey deal with potentially sensitive issues but each one matters and is asked in order to provide data on key issues facing the Jewish community. We will not be collecting data that can identify you personally (such as names and addresses) and any email address information you provide will be held separately from the responses you give. It will not be possible to link your responses to you personally.

If you choose to take part in the survey’s prize draw you will need to provide personal contact details, but these are stored separately from the answers you give to the questionnaire.

The final dataset will be held securely on the computer servers of JPR and UCT.

The initial findings report is scheduled to be published in August 2019 and will be available to download for free from the Kaplan Centre and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. The findings will be disseminated widely to Jewish community charities and organisations, and presented to community leaders and practitioners. Once it has been published, other reports will be written exploring the data in greater depth.








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