Continuing our series about the common questions that our clients ask us: our first post focused on the higher education sector. This was followed by our post on the healthcare sector. We now turn our attention to the world of Jewish community studies.
For 35 years and counting, The Melior Group has been in the business of answering questions for our clients. And, while the techniques and methods we use to answer those questions have changed over time, many of the questions have not.
So when it comes to our clients in the Jewish community – Federations, synagogues, Day Schools and social services organizations – what kinds of questions is Melior answering, and how are our clients using the information?
At the most fundamental level, our clients want to know how they can make their Jewish communities more vibrant and their members more engaged.
Jewish communities these days often find themselves struggling to be relevant to their members. While the needs of some in the community may be well-served by traditional communal institutions, new strategies and approaches are needed to combat decline and ensure long-term survival.
By using a consumer behavior approach to understanding community needs, interests, behaviors and attitudes, our work provides new insights into what makes these communities “tick”, and how best to leverage those insights to build stronger communities. Community leaders want to know…
- What does our community “look like” – demographically, attitudinally, spiritually, emotionally and even philanthropically?
- What’s working and what’s not – programmatically and institutionally?
- Where are the gaps? What do we need to do better?
- How well do community members understand what we do? How can we better engage those at the margins of the community?
- Where is the community headed?
The answers we provide have been used by our clients in a variety of ways, allowing them to:
- Make informed policy decisions
- Set priorities
- Launch, grow, and sunset programs
- Determine funding allocations based on credible data, not instinct
- Bolster community planning efforts
- Amplify development efforts
Though our findings can sometimes surprise, they provide a starting point for community soul-searching and ultimately, strengthening.
In addition to the questions we ask, our rigorous approach to figuring out who we need to reach in order to gather the information clients need, and determining the best methodology for gathering information, is central to our work.
Our research can help Jewish communities, their agencies and institutions, explore all of these issues and more. Give us a call or send us an email and let us know how we can help.