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Jews who experience antisemitism give to charity at higher levels

A new report, “American Jewish Philanthropy 2022: Giving to Religious and Secular Causes in the U.S. and to Israel,” show multiple trends impacting Jewish families’ gifts to nonprofit groups.

Giving U.S. dollars. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay.
Giving U.S. dollars. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay.

Data published in a new report, “American Jewish Philanthropy 2022: Giving to Religious and Secular Causes in the U.S. and to Israel,” shows multiple trends impacting Jewish families’ gifts to nonprofit groups. One of them—experiences with and concerns about antisemitism in the United States—was linked to significantly higher levels of giving in 2022.

Commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the research shows that “Jewish households give more on average than non-Jewish households. However, statistical analysis reveals that this is because of differences in household characteristics, e.g., race/ethnicity, educational attainment, marital status, and income, not different motivations for giving.”

Orthodox Jews reported experiencing antisemitism at significantly higher levels than other Jewish respondents. Some 30% of respondents with children under 18 at home experienced antisemitism, compared with 17% of those with no children under 18 at home. Those living in the Western United States experienced more antisemitism at 28% compared with 20% in the Midwest, 20% in the South and 15% in the Northeast.

Other findings show that Jews who had experienced antisemitism gave more than 10 times as much as those who did not, with $35,425 for the former and $3,726 for the latter. A quarter of Jewish households also gave an average gift of $2,467 to Israel-focused nonprofits. Households with a “very important” Jewish identity were 50% more likely to give to Israel-focused groups.

Congregations received the largest donation from the average donor. Other causes most frequently supported by Jewish households related to basic needs, health care and education.

The study is based on a survey of 3,115 households (two-thirds Jewish and one-third non-Jewish) conducted in March 2023. It was authored by Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D.; Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim, Ph.D.; and Jon Bergdoll.

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