West Hartford Residents Invited to Take Greater Hartford JMAP Survey

Members of the Jewish community in West Hartford and the surrounding area, and those who are part of Jewish households, are urged to complete the JMAP survey which will be available online through June 30.


By Ronni Newton

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, which has its offices in West Hartford, is hoping to get plenty of input through the JMAP online survey.

And if you respond, there are even donated prizes (see the list below) which are awarded randomly to participants.

The survey is not just for the use of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford and the Jewish Federation, which are co-sponsoring it Results will be available for other organizations to use for planning purposes, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford Marketing and Communications Manager Lisa Farren said. The survey asks questions about the “state of our community, trends, priorities, and needs.”

Kathryn Gonnerman, director of the Center for Innovative Philanthropy of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, is managing the survey. She said it’s very different type of survey, designed to capture much more than just demographics.

“It’s the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,'” Gonnerman said. JMAP is looking to gather information about perceptions, opinions, and what’s important to those who respond. “It’s more about attitudes, behaviors, and other characteristics,” she said.

When the survey results are quantified, Gonnerman said, a “dashboard” will be created based on what people say is important to the Jewish community. The data will also be updated in two years, and progress will be tracked, so the JMAP survey will remain useful for the future.

Responses to the survey will be kept completely confidential, but the data will be available publicly on an open portal to be used free of charge by anyone. Information entered to be considered for a prize, Gonnerman said, will be kept completely separate.

The survey data will be particularly useful to synagogues and agencies that currently serve, or are looking to serve, the Jewish community. It will help them figure out where to start, and how to move forward based on data, rather than anecdotal information.

“Data is worthwhile when it gets used,” Gonnerman said. Although the data that will be collected won’t tell any organization what to do, it will help map out what’s important to the community. A synagogue may know its own congregation, but not the community it has failed to attract. The survey data will provide information about where those people are, and what is holding them back, Gonnerman said.

Making the results public is truly “democratization of data,” she said. The information will empower organizations, individuals, or anyone who seeks out the data in order to base decisions on what people say is important to them.

Fallen said that her organization is hopeful West Hartford’s large Jewish population will respond in force, and the survey is also open to anyone, ages 18 and up, in the Greater Hartford area.

“This is a chance to speak out,” Gonnerman said. In addition to those who are Jewish, individuals who are part of a Jewish household, or work for a Jewish organization, are invited to respond. “We want to hear from the people who are not Jewish as well,” she said.

For more information about JMAP and to complete the JMAP survey, click here.


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