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which has the heaviest Jewish popula-
tion in the United States, contains
one-third of all U.S. synagogues. Next
came the Los Angeles-Riverside-
Orange County area, with 7 percent,
and Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, with
• Three other communities have
more than 50 synagogues, including
65 in Washington, 56. in Baltimore
and 51 in Detroit-Ann Arbor.
• New York has the most synagogues,
with 995, followed by 425 in California,
331 in New Jersey, 263 in Florida, and
201 in Massachusetts. These five states
also have the largest Jewish populations
— except for Pennsylvania, which has
slightly more Jews than Massachusetts
but four fewer synagogues.
• The highest synagogue density —
measured as the number of synagogues
per 1,000 Jews — is in medium-sized
cities such as Providence, R.I., Albany,
N.Y., Buffalo, Cincinnati and
Milwaukee. That's because these cities
have old Jewish communities with
more traditional Jews and place a
higher priority on institution-building,
according to the study's authors.
• States with the highest synagogue
density are rural ones with small Jewish
populations, including Arkansas,
Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma,
South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming
and Vermont. That may be because
many synagogues in these states were
built in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, but have outlived the Jewish
populations they once served.
• Reform synagogues predominate
in smaller and more rural communi-
ties, such as those in Arkansas, Idaho -
and Mississippi, where 90 percent of
all synagogues are Reform.
• Some communities with large
Jewish populations, such as West Palm
Beach, Fla. and Phoenix, have lower
synagogue density, reflecting.a recent
influx in Jews but a lag in building
The AJCommittee's Grossman said
he finds it interesting that Chabad/
Lubavitch congregations seem to be
widespread across the United States,
with 346 synagogues.
Chabad is highly motivated to
spread Judaism and remains "very dif-
ferent than any other group in terms
of their morale," he said. This census
puts them on the map.
But Grossman's assessment of the
forces sparking Chabad's explosive
growth provoked debate.
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie, a Chabad
emissary in Orange County, Calif,
said Chabad was growing not because
of messianic fervor, but because
"what's driving us is a commitment to
our fellow Jews."
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