Study estimates 24,000 Jews living in NM - Albuquerque Journal

Study estimates 24,000 Jews living in NM

Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal

A first-ever demographic survey of New Mexico’s Jewish population found that the community is larger, older and more widely dispersed than previously believed, Jewish leaders who commissioned the study said Thursday.

The study estimated that about 24,000 Jews live in New Mexico, more than two-thirds of whom are aged 55 or older. Earlier estimates had put the state’s Jewish population at about 12,000.

Only a small portion of New Mexico Jews were born here. Fully 87 percent of the nearly 1,700 surveyed moved here from out-of-state – nearly one in five from New York, the report found.

“The community here is an elderly community and an aging population,” said Benjamin Kupersmit, a Denver-based demographer who performed the survey.

The survey results were released just two days after leaders of the Jewish Academy of Arts & Sciences announced that the Albuquerque kindergarten through fifth grade school would close at the end of this school year due to declining enrollment. It has 31 students compared to an all-time high of 69 five years ago.

“Our children are beloved, but there are very few of them,” said Sara Koplik, director of community outreach for the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, which commissioned the survey.

New Mexico Jews also are less likely to have children living at home than those in other states.

About a quarter of the state’s Jewish adults reported having children under 18 living in their households, compared with 33 percent nationally.

An influx of out-of-state Jews appears to offset a low number of births, Koplik said.

“We have few children, but we seem to have a stream of older people coming in,” she said.

New Mexico’s Jewish population is highly educated, with 58 percent reporting a graduate or professional degree, and an additional 28 percent with a four-year university degree, the survey shows.

A majority of those surveyed – 56 percent – reported that someone in their household is a member of one of the state’s 22 synagogues, and a third say they attended religious services other than special occasions.

While three-quarters of the state’s Jews live in Bernalillo or Santa Fe counties, at least one family was surveyed in 28 of the state’s 33 counties.

“We’re going to be giving more attention to reaching small communities across the state,” possibly with the help of itinerant rabbis, said Marvin Gottlieb, the Jewish Federation’s vice president for strategic planning.

“Certainly we are going to be focusing more attention on issues of aging,” he said.

Home » News » New Mexico News » Study estimates 24,000 Jews living in NM


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
FBI opens hate crime probe of shooting in Dallas' ...
ABQnews Seeker
Dallas police have arrested a suspect ... Dallas police have arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting that wounded three women in a hair salon in the city's Koreatown and ...
2
Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak blaze surpasses 2012's Whitewater-Baldy
ABQnews Seeker
Northern NM fire has burned at ... Northern NM fire has burned at least 262 homes
3
Council-approved budget would up spending by 20%
ABQnews Seeker
Plan includes pay increase for city ... Plan includes pay increase for city workers, rental support
4
Defendant says he shot JB White 'to stop him'
ABQnews Seeker
Montoya takes stand, says SF basketball ... Montoya takes stand, says SF basketball star chased him, was about to 'throw a power punch'
5
'Not intimidated,' Block pitches himself as a fighter for ...
2022 election
GOP hopeful brings combative edge to ... GOP hopeful brings combative edge to governor's race
6
As wildfires rage, state says unemployment assistance is available
ABQnews Seeker
Assistance is available for weeks of ... Assistance is available for weeks of unemployment beginning April 10 through Nov. 5
7
Grandma gets honorary degree for aiding New Mexico community
ABQnews Seeker
She runs Socorro's Restaurant in Hernández She runs Socorro's Restaurant in Hernández
8
States struggle to replace fossil fuel tax revenue
ABQnews Seeker
Budgets flush with petroleum cash put ... Budgets flush with petroleum cash put spotlight on how difficult it is to turn rhetoric on tackling climate change into reality
9
Governor appoints former U.S. Navy officer to state Cabinet ...
ABQnews Seeker
Dye appointed to run state agency ... Dye appointed to run state agency tasked with natural disaster response