Researchers at the PEW Institute revealed at the annual conference of North American Jewish Federations General Assembly that American Jews are more likely to fall ill with the coronavirus. According to a study on the subject, ten percent of American Jews were found to have coronavirus antibodies, compared to two percent of the general population.
The study, 'Jewish Experiences during the Coronavirus,' was conducted by Alan Cooperman, who is in charge of researching religious issues at the prestigious polling institute, together with senior researcher Becka A. Alper. It was conducted among 13,200 adults in the U.S. during August 2020, and also included 248 personal interviews with Americans who declared their religion to be "Judaism."
16 percent of American Jews stated that as far as they know they have been infected with the coronavirus in recent months, but have not been officially diagnosed (compared to 13 percent of the general American population). Three percent said they were tested and the results came out positive - compared to two percent of the general American population. The antibody tests showed that Jews were more likely to be infected with the coronavirus - 10 percent of Jews said they had been tested, and they had coronavirus antibodies - meaning they had been infected with the coronavirus in the past. On the other hand, in the general population only two percent stated that their results came out positive in the antibody test.
The study also showed that 57 percent of Jews know someone who was hospitalized or died as a result of the coronavirus, compared to 39 percent of the general American population - a difference of close to 20 percent.
In other areas, the Jewish-American community is very similar to the larger American community: 43 percent of Jewish households and 42 percent of American households have been economically affected by job losses or wage cuts. 15 percent of Jews and 17 percent of Americans have received assistance food from charities or a local food bank.
On the other hand, in other situations - Jews are in a better position than the rest of the Americans: 25 percent of Americans had difficulty paying their bills compared to only nine percent of the American Jews. 16 percent of Americans had difficulty paying their mortgage, compared to only six percent of Jews. 15 percent of Americans received government assistance to purchase food, compared with nine percent of Jews. In the field of employment, Jews actually benefited more from the American government in receiving unemployment benefits: 21 percent of Jews received unemployment payments compared to only 15 percent of the general population.
The General Assembly of the North American Jewish Federations was held online this year due to the coronavirus crisis.