Nishma Research explores the issues facing the Jewish people. Nishma means "we listen" – our mission includes funding and conducting studies to promote better listening among the diverse strands of Judaism.

The 2016 Survey of Those Who Have Left the Orthodox Community was our initial such effort, and the findings are posted below.

Nishma is currently conducting the 2017 Survey of the Orthodox Community, the broadest survey ever conducted among this group in terms of the issues explored. Click the "Contact Us" button above to receive the survey results as soon as they are released (expected in September, 2017).

We would love to hear your suggestions for other topics to explore in the future.

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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 -- the group that is sometimes known as those who have gone off the derech (off the path). 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.