Sociology Professor Robert Brym's new research project was recently profiled in the Canadian Jewish News. Together with the Environics Institute for Survey Research and Rhonda Lenton, a sociologist and the president and vice-chancellor of York University, Professor Robert Brym is embarking on a new landmark study on Jewish populations in major Canadian cities.
The study will select samples of Jews living in four major Canadian cities (Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver) to answer an 80 question survey, which covers topics such as Jewish identity and practice, experiences with anti-Semitism and discrimination, and demographic characteristics, in order to gauge a more accurate understanding of the Canadian Jewish community, which remains one of the most understudied populations in the world.
Professor Brym is a Full Professor of Sociology and the S.D. Clark Chair in Sociology. He has teaching responsibilities at the St. George Campus.
Ron Csillag, Staff Reporter
Jan 25, 2018
Beginning this month, researchers will embark on the first large-scale portrait of Canadian Jews that will look at metrics that have not been gauged by the federal census, which tallies Jews by religion, ethnicity, geography, age, gender, education and family arrangements.
However valuable, the census data does not provide a “substantive understanding about Jewish identity, priorities, attitudes and values,” according to a statement put out by the Environics Institute, which will be conducting the survey.
According to the project’s summary, this type of information “has never been collected among Canadian Jews on a national scale and is becoming increasingly important given the dynamic changes taking place in society generally, and in the Jewish world in particular. It is remarkable that the Canadian Jewish community is one of the least studied in the world, in sharp contrast to that of the U.S.A. and the U.K.”
The study is being carried out by the Environics Institute for Survey Research, in partnership with Prof. Robert Brym, a sociologist at the University of Toronto, and Rhonda Lenton, a sociologist and the president and vice-chancellor of York University.
Sponsoring organizations include the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Federation CJA in Montreal, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto.
Respondents in four cities – Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver – will be asked around 80 questions, covering: Jewish identity; Jewish practice (self and family); childhood upbringing; experiences with anti-Semitism and discrimination; attitudes about Israel; connections to the local Jewish community; demographic characteristics, including ethnic and national background; and city-specific topics developed in collaboration with local sponsors.
More cities may be added, depending on future funding...