267946 Religious Communities and the Health Needs of Jewish Immigrants

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Ephraim Shapiro, PHD, MPA, MBA , School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY
Introduction: Immigrant needs can vary by religion and ethnicity because of differences in group characteristics, context of reception, and home country life. Jewish immigrant needs vary from both other Jews and other immigrant groups. Although Jews are a longstanding religious U.S. minority, there is no recent national randomized survey of Jews, let alone of Jewish immigrants and their health needs.

Objectives: 1) What are the health needs of recent Jewish immigrants? 2) How do these health needs vary by home country and compare to non-Jewish immigrants? 3) What are the findings' policy implications for faith-based interventions?

Methods: Adult Jewish immigrants were surveyed as part of the randomized New Immigrant Survey data set. The survey included extensive health, religion, immigration, socioconomic and other demographic variables. Outcome measures included health status, health behaviors, chronic diseases, and mental health . Descriptive analyses were performed. Variations by ethnicity were analyzed and outcomes comparisons made to non-Jewish immigrant groups. Key informant interviews with faith-based and community leaders were then conducted.

Results: 105 U.S. Jewish immigrants participated in the survey, representing a wide range of characteristics. Variations were found in outcome measures by key immigrant and demographic factors including home region. Opportunities for widespread faith-based interventions suggested by these findings and the interviews will be discussed.

Conclusion: Opportunities may exist for faith-based health interventions among immigrant Jews by leveraging the social and religious capital in this understudied community. Efforts to target Jewish immigrant needs by faith communities and take their varying characteristics into account are important

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) Assess the health related needs of Jewish immigrants in the U.S. 2) Describe variations among Jewish immigrants by home country regions and other subgroups for health behaviors and outcomes 3) Understand the implications of these findings for developing innovative and effective interventions to benefit Jewish immigrants who are part of a faith community

Keywords: Religion, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have training and research experience in the intersection of religion, immigrants and public health as well as with mixed methods analyses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.