Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Krmenec, Andrew

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


In the 1960s and 1970s, as many large US cities experienced rapid racial and ethnic demographic shifts, the intra-urban residential settlement and migration patterns of American Jews came to the attention of sociologists and urbanists. Although the interest in this population has waned in favor of more recent immigrant groups, patterns of Jewish residential dynamics continue to evolve, reflecting changes over time in both Jewish religious and ethnic identity and assimilation into mainstream American society. The lack of Census data identifying households by religious affiliation requires an alternative approach to the study of this group. In the first section of this study, The Use of Distinctive Jewish Names in Locating Jews as an Urban Sub-Population in Cincinnati, Ohio, distinctive ethnic surnames were used to locate Jewish households. An empirically based and statistically supported list of Jewish names was developed for use in spatial and demographic analyses of the Jewish community of Cincinnati, Ohio, during the period between 1940 and 2000. This list of Cincinnati distinctive Jewish names (CDJNs) was used to geocode addresses from decadal phone directories. The resulting residential patterns of the CDJN Jews were nonrandom and remained distinct from other ethnic groups throughout the study period. The significantly higher degree of clustering that characterized the CDJN households is consistent with historical Jewish urban settlement patterns and supports the use of the CDJN list as a research tool. With minor modifications, the methodology used to develop the list can be used to provide reliable distinctive Jewish name lists for use elsewhere.

The second section, Spatial Analysis of Jewish Residential Patterns in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1940-2000, investigates the residential dynamics of the geocoded CDJN households identified in the first section. Spatial distributions of CDJN addresses from 1940 to 2000 were compared with distributions of households associated with distinctive ethnic Irish and German names in Hamilton County, Ohio. All name groups were subjected to a series of spatial statistical tests, including global and local autocorrelation, which provided a set of measurements used to describe the residential patterns quantitatively. Areas of emerging, stable, and declining CDJN concentration were identified. The relationship between intra-county CDJN migration and key transportation arteries was assessed. Additionally, a subset of inter-decadal CDJN household moves were mapped. The discussion assessing the results of the tests and measurements paints a detailed picture of the evolving patterns of Jewish residential settlement and migration in the greater Cincinnati area during the study period.


194 pages




Northern Illinois University

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