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New Survey Reports BBYO Alumni Value Jewish Connection at a Significantly Higher Rate Than Those in the General Jewish Population

November 1, 2008

Independent Study Shows BBYO as a Positive and Impactful Jewish Experience

A survey released this month reveals that BBYO has a significantly positive impact on classic indicators of Jewish connection—attitudes, behaviors, and relationships—and in fact, BBYO alumni value Jewish connection at a much higher rate than do Jews in the general population (as measured by the United Jewish Communities National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01).

The BBYO study was conducted by TRU, the global leader in youth research, and a division of Research International, the world's largest custom-research firm.

Significant survey findings include:

  • Almost all (92%) alumni respondents said they "regard being Jewish as very important," whereas just more than half (52%) of the general Jewish population* hold that same value.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) stated that BBYO was "very" or "extremely important" in strengthening their Jewish connection.
  • The connection to Israel among BBYO alumni is dramatic. Whereas 63% of the Jewish population at large feel "emotionally attached to Israel," 80% of BBYO alumni do. Further, nearly two-thirds (64%) identified "advocating for Israel" as a critical issue that would likely sway their political vote.
  • The vast majority of alumni (79%) are married to a Jewish spouse, and 82% said that it's "extremely" or "very" important to raise their children Jewish.
  • Whereas half (52%) of the general Jewish population say half or more of their closest friends are Jewish, that number increases to more than three-fourths (76%) for BBYO alumni.
  • Nearly nine in 10 of surveyed alumni (86%) ranked BBYO as one of the top three Jewish experiences that have made a positive impact on their lives. Further, one-third (34%) ranked BBYO as the one experience most responsible for positively impacting their Jewish lives.

In an open-ended portion of the survey, a 25-year-old alumna stated, "Coming from a mostly secular family, BBYO was the place where I learned about religious Judaism – learning to lead services, chant Torah and many other skills that I actively use to this day. I have kept in touch with many wonderful people I met through BBYO – many of whom had no Jewish background to speak of before BBYO. It has really changed many people's lives – for the better."

"These survey findings reiterate what tens of thousands of alumni have been saying for years – that BBYO is an incredibly powerful experience that creates an enduring Jewish connection," said Howard Wohl, Chairman of the BBYO, Inc. International Board of Directors. "It is our goal to share the BBYO experience with as many of today's Jewish teens as possible because we know, and this research confirms, that we will have a stronger Jewish future as a result."

BBYO, since becoming independent from B'nai B'rith International six years ago, has undergone a dramatic revitalization, doubling the number of teens involved from 13,000 to nearly 26,000 and establishing Friends & Alumni Networks in communities throughout North America to foster a lifelong connection to the Jewish community.

About the Survey

BBYO commissioned TRU to conduct a comprehensive research project to better understand the impact of BBYO on participant's connectedness to their faith. TRU fielded a study September 2-12, 2008, among a sample of BBYO alumni living in the U.S. and Canada; a total of 1,308 respondents completed the online survey. TRU strived to achieve a mix or respondents across ages (18 and older), gender, and geographic regions. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points in total (at the 95% confidence level).

About the Research Firm

TRU was founded in 1982 as the first marketing research firm to specialize exclusively in the teenage market. Since that time, TRU has expanded to being the leading researcher of tweens and twenty-somethings as well. Counting among its clients, many of both the largest commercial and social-marketing organizations, from Procter & Gamble to Pepsi, Nike to Nordstrom, and the White House Office of Drug-Control Policy Youth Campaign to the Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, TRU is a full-service firm, providing syndicated, qualitative and quantitative research to its clients. Headquartered in Chicago, TRU is a division of Research International, with offices in more than 50 countries. TRU's staff includes research and marketing professionals with advertising agency, brand management, consulting and social research backgrounds.

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