gearAffiliation & Participation

While many congregations in Pittsburgh and elsewhere have experienced recent losses in membership and some financial difficulty, congregations remain an important gateway into Jewish life in the United States.

Summary Metrics

  2015 Number of synagogues 2014 Number of synagogues 2013 Number of synagogues Net Change from most recent years Percent Change
Approximate number of household memberships reported by synagogues 6,400 29 6,580 30 6,740 30 (180) (2.7%)
Number of synagogues without a formal membership structure 5 5
Approximate number of people enrolled in a conversion course at a synagogue 81 11 70 10 85 13 11 15.7%
Approximate number of people enrolled in Jewish pre-nuptial courses at a synagogue 50 6  62 10 53 6 (12)  (19.4%)
Approximate number of marriages performed by a congregational rabbi 85 12 75 12 93 14 10  13.3%

 

  • Twenty synagogues reported membership data for the years 2011 through 2015.

    2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
    Total membership of the 20 synagogues 5,195 5,301 5,406 5,565 5,701
    Net change from previous year (106) (105) (159) (136)
    Percent change from previous year (2.0%) (2.0%) (2.9%) (2.4%)

     

    Roughly 46% of all synagogue membership units are members of a Reform congregation.

    Syn Membership by Denomination 15-16

    Within Pittsburgh, 66% of members belong to a synagogue that is in Squirrel Hill or an adjacent neighborhood.

    Syn Membership by Geography 15-16

     

Organizations that participated in this study include: Adat ShalomAhavath Achim CongregationBeth El Congregation, Beth Hamedrash Hagodol – Beth Jacob, Beth Israel CenterBeth Israel Congregation of LatrobeBeth Israel Congregation of Washington PABnai Emunoh ChabadThe Beth Samuel Jewish CenterChabad Jewish Center of MonroevilleChabad Lubavitch of the South HillsChabad of PittsburghCongregation Bet TikvahCongregation Beth ShalomCongregation B’nai AbrahamCongregation Emanu-El Israel, Congregation Kether Torah, Dor Hadash, Gemilas Chesed SynaogueLubavitch Center, Makom HaLev, New Light CongregationParkway Jewish Center, Pittsburgh Secular Jewish CommunityPoale ZedekRodef Shalom, Shaare Torah CongregationTemple Bnai IsraelTemple DavidTemple Emauel of the South HillsTemple Ohav ShalomTemple SinaiTree of Life * Or L’Simcha, Young Israel of Pittsburgh, and Young Peoples Synagogue.