Nishma Research conducts research into important social issues facing our people. "Nishma" means "we listen" – and one of our goals is to fund and conduct one study a year on a topic that will promote greater listening among the diverse strands of the Jewish people. The 2016 Survey of Those Who Have Left the Orthodox Community (a pioneering quantitative study of this group) was our initial such effort, and the findings are posted below. We would love to hear your suggestions for other topics to explore in the future. Click the Contact Us link above and let us know your thoughts.

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While there have been many studies done among the Orthodox, there has been little research among those who had an Orthodox upbringing but who have questioned or left their original community. This survey developed a deeper understanding of the Jewish identity, beliefs, practices and needs of these individuals, who are a fledgling segment of the larger Jewish community.

The survey drew upon an expert advisory group that included leaders of Footsteps and Project Makom, two organizations that provide services to these groups, as well as several academics, with invaluable input of Prof. Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College, lead researcher on the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 and a consultant to the Pew Study of American Jews.