Monday, August 23, 2010

Does Anyone Have Any Data On Orthodox Jewish Marriage Patterns?

I'm attempting to do some research into the "Age-Gap" theory of the "Shidduch crisis."  I've written a program to simulate a community, but right now, my virtual community acts based on my guesses of when people marry and the age of their spouses.  I would like to improve my model based on real-world data (if there is any out there) and see if I can get my virtual community to behave more like the real community.

So, does anyone know of any studies that were done on Orthodox Jewish marriages in recent years?  Specifically with data as to the ages of marriage of the partners?

Thanks in advance,

The Wolf


Lion of Zion said...

i don't know anything (this is about 150 years past the area i work in), but you should

1) contact the people who conduct the national jewish population survey. i don't think the published results break down marriage demographics by denomination, but they definately have the data (they just have to correlate it and be willing to share it).

2) there is a whole academic field of jewish sociology (e.g., i'm sure you've seen heilman's name). email them. you can also contact social historians like jeff gurock whose expertise is american orthodoxy.

3) post a question to the american jewish history listserve

good luck.

BrooklynWolf said...


Kindly don't spam the blog with off-subject links.

While I do permit links to outside blogs in the comments, I only do so if it's relevant to the topic at hand. Your link was not.

If you want me to look at (and possibly comment on) a link, feel free to email it to me privately.

The Wolf

The Hedyot said...

You should speak to Sarah Bronson, a frum journalist in Israel who is researching this, and writing about it on her blog, Chayyei Sarah.
Her latest posts are on the topic.

Clifton Guy said...

Ask AZ in the CR.

Anonymous said...

try the center for the jewish future at YU. I think Dr. Pelcovitz and Professor Eliezer Schnall have done some research on Jewish or at least orthodox marriage. I think, also, that there is something either from Los Angeles where they did an informal online survey and may have shared it either with YU or Ortodox Caucus or OU.

Good Luck.

Neil Harris said...

The OU had a survey a while back. Here's a link to an article:

Bookworm said...

Considering how Jewish men have married women younger than them since, oh, AVRAHAM, I'm not exactly sure what is gained by perusing the "Age Gap" Theory as the source of all our troubles. As Orthonomics said, the factor causing problems (if any were to exist) would have to be based on a new issue, not one that's 3,000 years old.

squeak said...

I'm not sure what your point is, but what Wolf is planning to do is extremely worthwhile. I am a staunch opponent of AGT as the cause of the crisis, but unfortunately the public has been duped into believing it is Toras Moshe (pun intended). Whether it is because of the 'logical' appeal of the theory (not that the public is skilled logicians), or the forcefulness of the proponents (I would not say charisma), or the blamelessness of the theory (no one is doing anything wrong, the problem is no one's direct fault)- it doesn't matter. The public trust has been violated by people who refuse to do their due diligence to see if there is any merit to the theory, and people are being unfairly manipulated as a direct result. All with the 'haskomas harabbanim'.

If Wolf can shed some light on the veracity of the theory using REAL data and REAL modeling, I say THANK YOU. Please give us something scientific to work with so we can shut down this nuisance before we do too much social engineering.

(If you ask, "What if Wolf proves AGT has merit", I would welcome the chance to review such an analysis, and it could change my viewpoint. With real evidence backing the theory I might agree to some of the steps taken, but right now there is none.)