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Avotaynu recently asked the 7,259 subscribers of its e-zine, Nu? What's New?, to participate in a survey. Responses were received from 3,388 people, a 46.7% response rate which our statistician advisers inform us is an excellent rate. Our motivation was to develop a profile of the Jewish genealogist based on our reader's characteristics. Since some subscribers would not fit into this category, question #10, asked, "Are you or your spouse (significant other) of Jewish heritage?" We decided our definition of "Jewish genealogist" would be any respondent who answered that at least one parent was born Jewish. Those with lesser or no Jewish heritage were excluded from the analysis (except for comparing them with the main group). There was little difference in how questions were answered by those who had two parents born Jewish compared with those who had only one parent born Jewish.
The exact results of the survey are shown at this web site. Many of the results are shown with comments that are our clarification or interpretation of the results. In some cases, the comments compare the results with a survey done of American genealogists conducted at Fullerton University in California.
2,268 people responded to our first request to participate in the survey. At the time a second, reminder notice was sent, a snapshot was taken of the results. An additional 1,120 (one-third more) responded to the second request. This is typical of survey response rates. Comparing the snapshot to the final result showed that this second group affected the most common answer to any question by less than 2% in almost all cases. It therefore was concluded that this second group was not materially different than the first group and we had enough .responses to accurately describe "Nu?? What's New?" readers.
Most Jewish genealogists are new to the hobby—more than half have been researching their family history for less than 10 years.
Jewish genealogists are a group that relies on the volunteer efforts of others—68.8% of the respondents claim they do not volunteer for genealogy projects.
We are a computer-oriented, high-speed Internet-oriented group, but this appears to be true of all genealogists.
Jewish genealogists are well educated—47.7% have advanced degrees (master's or doctorate).
Are we "little old ladies in tennis sneakers"? Unfortunately, an important question was accidentally left out of the survey—What is your gender (male/female)? But the survey did ask age and, remarkably, the typical Jewish genealogist is nearly five years older (62.7 years) than the average non-Jewish genealogist.
The quality of the reproduction of the survey results displayed here is only fair. It is recommended that it be viewed with a screen resolution of 1024/768 or better. To aid in reading the results, they are reproduced in text above the actual survey image.
Future surveys are planned. To the almost half of our subscribers that responded to this survey, thanks very much for your time and thoughts.