June 8, 2021

Kosher Industry Stats Contradict PEW Study Conclusions

New York…Adding to the chorus of sources that accused the recently released PEW Research study of a severe undercount of the Orthodox Jewish community, is the kosher food industry. According to many in the industry, the Orthodox represent far more than the 10% reported by Pew. Some Orthodox Jewish leaders say that the growth was much greater with some going so far as to project that the Orthodox community doubles in size every five years. The new Pew Research puts the number of Jews in the US as 7.5 – 8 million, although most are not practicing Jews or may in fact live in a household with non-Jewish members. Yet, a good number of them do eat kosher foods, even if occasionally. Among Jews 18 to 29, 70% said they often or sometimes cook or eat traditional Jewish foods, identical to the percentage of Jews 65 and older. The survey indicates that fertility among Orthodox Jews is at least twice as high as among non-Orthodox Jews. Orthodox Jewish adults, says Pew, report having an average of 3.3 children, while non-Orthodox Jews have an average of 1.4 children. Independent kosher grocers serving such communities as Lakewood, Brooklyn, Monsey and Monroe, for example, say their guess is that the average family has at least 5.5-6 children, almost double the Pew survey. One supermarket owner said: “It is obvious that they did not do a very good job in surveying the core kosher market, including Orthodox and Chasidic Jews.”