Enrollment Trend Report: Families Turn to Jewish Day School Post 10/7

Odelia Epstein, Beth Rivkind, Amy Adler
KC Media Type
Knowledge Topics
Prizmah Thought Leadership, Enrollment, Research


In the wake of the tragic events of October 7th, North American Jews are increasingly turning to Jewish spaces and communities for support and security. The Jewish Federation of North America’s recent study highlights a significant surge in interest and engagement in Jewish communal life. The study found “38% of parents with kids in a secular private school are considering making the move to Jewish day schools.”   

At Prizmah, we see this playing out throughout North America as Jewish day schools and yeshivas report that they are experiencing a surge in interest and enrollment for the 2024-25 school year from public and private school families, many of whom were not previously known prospects by their local day schools. 

Since the massacre on October 7th, Prizmah conducted three enrollment surveys to heads of school and admission professionals at Prizmah schools. These surveys provide the groundwork for how the day school enrollment landscape has shifted over the course of the last several months in response to the Israel-Hamas war. 

The first report, released in November 2023,  captured that just two weeks after October 7th, over 900 temporary Israeli students inquired to attend Jewish day schools in North America, based on responses from 114 schools. By December 2023, our second enrollment trend report based on data from 110 schools demonstrated that over 1,000 temporary Israeli students were welcomed as students into Jewish day schools post 10/7. Furthermore, 39% of Jewish day schools and yeshivas experienced an increase in inquiries for mid-year transfer from public school, and 20% of schools reported an increase in inquiries for mid-year transfer from independent school students. In this report, we will share the results of our most recent enrollment survey that depicts how families are turning to day schools, from public and private schools, as a direct result of the current climate. 


Prizmah fielded an online survey from April 15 - May 3, 2024. It was sent via email to heads of school and admission professionals. The survey received responses from 103 schools, which represents 34% of the Prizmah catchment of schools. These schools cumulatively enroll 35,000 students. Responding schools were found in all US regions and Canada and span all enrollment sizes. While these findings are not representative of the Prizmah network of schools, as you will see, they document what's happening at over 100 schools, which lay the foundation for the trends we will explore. In addition, these findings are what schools reported in April and May before the end of the school year, before schools have finalized enrollment for the upcoming school year. As such these findings can be seen as a snapshot of what was true as of the time of data collection. 


New families are turning to Jewish day schools as a result of the current landscape

More than half of responding schools (60%) reported that they had new students enrolled or projected to enroll for the 2024-25 school year as a result of the change in climate post October 7th. This 60% represents 62 schools who attributed new students enrolled as a result of the current landscape. 

Reasons parents are enrolling their children in Jewish Day School

Seventy-three schools shared reasons parents provided for enrolling, offering a rich trove to draw from. Respondents weren’t provided predefined answer choices, allowing respondents to write their own responses. This approach enhances the validity of the responses by capturing more authentic and unbiased answers. 

The top cited reasons in order of prevalence are

  • Antisemitism in public and/or independent schools
  • Israeli families who are moving to North America or newly considering day school because of the war
  • Seeking Jewish community for their children
  • Safety
  • Other reasons included Jewish identity, Jewish environment and Jewish education

Antisemitism was the top cited reason. Antisemitism at public school in particular was mentioned by 18 schools. That included students that faced antisemitism and a general school climate that isn’t inclusive of Jewish students/identity. 

“Feeling that the climate in public school isn't something they want for their children”

“Their children have experienced antisemitism in their current school”

Israelis moving from Israel was the next most commonly cited response. Schools reported that there are students who arrived as temporary Israeli students whose families have decided to stay in North America, and other Israeli families who are moving for reasons outside of the war, and are considering day school instead of other options that may have been considered before the war.

“Moved from Israel (assuming it would be temporary) following October 7 and decided to stay permanently.”

“The Israelis feel like they can't go back, based on their proximity to dangerous borders.”

Jewish day schools experienced an increase in new student enrollment for the 2024-25 school year from families previously unknown as prospective families.

Half of schools who responded (50%) reported an increase in new student enrollment for the 2024-2025 school year from families previously unknown as prospective families


The surge in interest and enrollment in Jewish day schools post-October 7th reflects a shift in the North American Jewish community. As families seek connection and Jewish spaces for their children, Jewish day schools are emerging as a refuge amidst rising concerns over antisemitism. Prizmah's surveys illustrate a clear trend: Jewish day schools and yeshivas are becoming increasingly vital to families seeking supportive communities for their children. This trend underscores the resilience and adaptability of Jewish day schools and yeshivas and highlights their essential role in fostering Jewish identity and community in challenging times. As we look towards the 2024-25 school year, Jewish day schools are poised to play an even more critical role in the lives of Jewish families across North America.

Prizmah plans to continue to monitor and report on these trends. To find our latest research, please visit our research page.