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    Update on NYS Jewish School Enrollment, 2023-24

    By Gabriel Aaronson
    19 May 2024

    On May 14, 2024 the New York State Education Department released updated enrollment data for New York nonpublic schools. This data reflects the enrollment taken on October 1, 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year.

    1. Overall Nonpublic Enrollment.

    In October 2023, NY nonpublic school enrollment was 420,892 – almost unchanged (+0.04%) from the previous year’s enrollment of 420,725.

    This is the fourth year enrollment has held steady around 420,000. This is after the state experienced 20 years of nonpublic school enrollment decline, from 527,000 students in 2000 to 419,000 in 2020.

    1. Enrollment Trends by Religious Affiliation.

    While overall nonpublic school enrollment was steady, outcomes varied considerably by school affiliation. Growth in Jewish and Islamic schools compensated for decline in Catholic schools.

    Independent Schools and Other Christian Schools saw almost no change.

    As of 2023-2024 Jewish schools had the most student of any group with 184,501 students (43.8% of the total), following by Roman Catholic schools with 120,470 students (28.6% of the total), and Independent Schools with 83,676 students (19.9% of the total). All other groups combined enrolled 32,245 students (7.7% of nonpublic school enrollment).

    1. Enrollment Trends in Jewish Schools.

    Overall enrollment in Jewish Schools grew by 4,181 students – a 2.3% increase over the prior year, and the largest single-year increase since the 2020-2021 school year.

    This growth is attributable to both an uptick in Structural Growth (more students entering Jewish Kindergarten and Preschool) and a reduction in losses from Attrition (students leaving New York Jewish schools before they graduate).

    Figure 4 – Jewish Enrollment Growth Drivers
      2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 2023-2024
    Structural Growth +6.2% +5.1% +5.2% +5.4%
    Attrition Losses -3.4% -4.7% -3.5% -3.1%
    Overall Growth Rate +2.8% +0.5% +1.7% +2.3%


    3.1 Jewish Enrollment Trends by Region.

    Growth in Jewish schools was concentrated in Monsey (+1,836, +5.0%), Brooklyn (+1,174, +1.3%), Monroe (+804, +4.6%), Queens (+269, +2.0%), Nassau County (+114, +1.3%), and Catskills (+140, +13.8%).

    Enrollment declined slightly in Jewish schools in Manhattan (-150, -3.4%), Westchester (-37, -1.7%). Enrollment in every other region (including Albany, Bronx, and the rest of the state) was essentially unchanged (with respective enrollment shifts of under 15 students).

    3.2 Enrollment Trends by Jewish Category.

    Chassidic Schools saw the largest enrollment growth with an additional enrollment of 3,310 students (+3.2%).

    Yeshivish Schools – defined as Orthodox schools where students are gender-segregated – also saw healthy enrollment growth, by 877 students (+1.7%).

    Modern Orthodox Schools – defined as Orthodox schools that are coed – saw a very small decline of -10 students (-0.0%).

    Non-Orthodox Schools saw flat enrollment growth with an additional 4 students (+0.1%).

    3.3 Prospects for Future Growth: Jewish Kindergartens.

    In our 2022 study, “Enrollment Trends In New York Jewish Schools, 2000-2021″, we found that enrollment growth in New York Jewish schools had slowed since 2015 owing largely to static Kindergarten enrollment growth in Jewish schools.

    Based on the latest data from 2023-2024, it is possible that Kindergarten enrollment is starting to escape its long-term rut. This year saw the highest overall Kindergarten enrollment number for Jewish schools overall with 18,259 students now enrolled in New York Jewish Kindergartens, finally above the previous record of 18,067 in 2015.

    Chassidic schools and Orthodox Coed schools in particular saw their highest Kindergarten enrollments on record.


    Given that rising Kindergarten enrollment is a key input for long term enrollment growth, time will tell whether this marks start of a return to faster growth for New York Jewish schools.