Jewishness Care

October 16, 2013 by Ayal Tusia
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A survey released by Jewish Care Victoria offers some valuable insights into what the community expects in relation to the ‘Jewishness’ of its services.

The survey, “Community Expectations of ‘Jewishness’ in Service Delivery” received over 1300 responses from community members from a diverse range of cultural and religious backgrounds and levels of religious observance and affiliations.

Bill Appleby

Bill Appleby

Conducted in May-June 2012, the results highlighted strong support amongst a vast majority of participants for maintenance of religious and cultural observances, particularly Shabbat and kosher dietary laws in communal and public areas of Jewish Care, and celebrating religious and cultural events.

Religious identification was a strong predictor of response, with those who identified as Ultra or Strictly Orthodox almost unanimously supporting religious observance of kashrut and Shabbat, while less than a quarter of those identifying as not religious supported or strongly supported these practices.

Opinion was divided on questions about individual choice (as distinct from communal practice), such as end-of-life decisions, provision of non-kosher food when requested, and facilitation of group activities not in keeping with religious observance.

Bill Appleby, Jewish Care CEO said Jewish Care commissioned the survey to not only understand the  community’s expectations, but also to create an evidence-base for significant funds invested in ‘Jewishness’ each year – which included observance of kashrut, celebrating Shabbat and religious events, and the continued, high-level provision of pastoral care and rabbinic services.

In the main, the survey findings reaffirm that Jewish Care is delivering its services in a manner that is consistent with the expectations expressed by the community about how ‘Jewishness’ should be reflected in service delivery.

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, General Manager, Cultural and Spiritual Services said “This is a significant body of work undertaken by Jewish Care which will provide guidance and inspiration in relation to Jewish Care’s future direction, operation and service offerings.”

Research for the survey was undertaken with Professor Andrew Markus, Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University. Jewish Care thanks all those who invested time in completing the survey.

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