JSU Impact Survey Highlights – June 2018

The Jewish Student Union (JSU) of St. Louis developed a survey to measure the effectiveness of St. Louis JSU in relation to its mission and goals. The survey is administered towards the end of each academic year. The following is a synopsis and comparison of the survey results highlighting key statistics relating to those goals and mission.

Key Findings:

1. Jewish Education

2016 2017 2018  
50% 66% 42% Had no formal Jewish education past Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
29% 20% 16% Had no formal Jewish education at all.

2. Synagogue Affiliation and Attendance

2016 2017 2018  
88% 84% 94% Had a Synagogue/Temple affiliation.
63% 63% 83% Attended Synagogue/Temple less than 6 times per year.
45% 45% 54% Attend Synagogue/Temple more frequently as a result of JSU involvement.

3. Youth Group Involvement and JCC Membership

2016 2017 2018  
61% 86% 49% Have increased their involvement and participation in Jewish youth groups as a result of their JSU participation.
55% 34% 37% Have joined one or more youth groups as a result of their JSU participation
54% 44% 66% Belong to the JCC.
54% 30% 68% Rarely or never go to the JCC.
56% 86% 57% Of non-members, stated that if they would receive a free membership they would participate in JCC activities and programs.

4. Overall Perception of Judaism & Jewish Identity

2016 2017 2018  
88% 98% 96% Report an enhanced appreciation and knowledge of Judaism as a result of JSU programming.
88% 91% 87% Feel that JSU has provided them a sense of belonging in school.
90% 96% 91% Report an enhanced understanding of Israel and the issues She faces.
91% 89% 91% Report an increased feeling of connection to Israel as a result of JSU programming.
86% 87% 88% Report an increased desire to visit or spend a Gap Year in Israel as a result of JSU programming.
91% 87% 92% Report seeing Judaism as being more relevant to them as teenagers as a result of JSU programming.
95% 94% 96% Report that participating in JSU has increased their pride in being Jewish.

5. Jewish Friendships

2016 2017 2018  
86% 85% 86% Report strengthening previous Jewish friendships.
84% 88% 68% Report making new Jewish friendships.

6. Jewish Practice

2016 2017 2018  
82% 86% 73% Report an increase in involvement in Jewish life as a result of JSU participation.
91% 91% 73% Report a greater likelihood of engaging in Jewish campus life at college as a result of JSU participation.
71% 87% 59% Report greater engagement in Jewish ritual/practice as a result of JSU participation.
63% 69% 55% Report they are more likely to try to “date Jewish” as a result of JSU participation.
61% 71% 57% Report they are more likely to try to “marry Jewish” as a result of JSU participation.

7. Non-Jewish Participants

2016 2017 2018  
96% 95% 98% Report an enhanced understanding of Jews and Judaism as a result of JSU participation.
92% 91% 99% Report an enhanced understanding and appreciation of Israel and the issues She faces as a result of JSU participation.
89% 87% 91% Of Non-Jewish JSUers would like more JSU programming

8. Staff Performance

2017-2018    Out of 5

4.97 Friendliness   4.93 Approachable
4.95 Knowledgeable   4.87 Fun
4.73 Available   4.93 Helpful

Open Ended Questions: A Sampling of Quotes

How has the JSU staff impacted your perception and knowledge of Judaism?

  1. They are so open and knowledgeable to talk about Judaism.
  2. JSU staff are my Jewish mentors.
  3. I learned a lot more about Jewish traditions which gave me a new found appreciation.
  4. JSU has helped make Judaism more relevant today.
  5. They really helped shape a positive image at the school.
  6. I am more understanding towards other sectors of Judaism.
  7. I now have a Rabbi I like talking to.
  8. I like having a sense of belonging.
  9. Prior to JSU, I knew little about Judaism.  Since joining, I have learned much.
  10. I know more about philosophies and ideals, how to be a better person.
  11. It opened me to the many different perspectives and interesting outlooks on Judaism.
  12. Sam Zitin has brought a new scientific view to Judaism I’d never seen before- it’s made my Jewish experience both more interesting and more accepting to my own views.
  13. JSU has just opened me up to new views of Judaism.
  14. The leaders of the clubs have expanded my knowledge on Judaism greatly.
  15. Rabbi Staum is so nice. His teachings help to expand knowledge without being boring.
  16. I attend temple more often.
  17. Sam teaches me more about being Jewish and what it means to be Jewish.
  18. I loved when the Israelis came and told us about their experiences.
  19. I didn’t actually know much about the religion so they taught me all about the culture and history and such.

How could the JSU staff be more helpful in strengthening your Jewish identity?

  1. Maybe learning more about cool stories and how to live a better life.
  2. Giving more background in Judaism?
  3. I would like to be more immersed in Jewish culture and religious practices.
  4. Talk more about things we can do to connect to Judaism in our free time & the benefits you get from it.
  5. Providing a source for answering questions outside of club.
  6. More communication with staff.
  7. Talk more about Israel.
  8. They already have!
  9. Weekend programs.

How could the JSU staff be more helpful to you in getting more involved in other Jewish youth and communal programming?

  1. They already do!
  2. Be more involved in school activities. More present at CHS, like sponsoring events.
  3. Put up posters at school.
  4. More events planned through JSU at the JCC or other things.
  5. More programs at school at more frequent intervals.
  6. Posting and texting everyone about all events.
  7. Offer paid internships.
  8. Providing pamphlet with all events for JSU.
  9. By providing options as they come up and giving reminders.
  10. Encourage people to branch out.
  11. Encourage More Youth Group Involvement with JSU.
  12. Do a get together with other schools JSU programs.
  13. The whole group itself could go together as the club and do communal project.
  14. I am already super involved in BBYO there isn’t much more you could do.