"Although there are no exact statistics, it is generally accepted that around half the "Jewish" marriages in North America are in fact intermarriages, and well over three quarters of the resultant children don't marry Jews either.More here.
"But why do Jews choose to marry Christians? How do they decide whether to convert out, ask their spouse to convert in, balance both religions or turn to something else altogether? How do Jews who have married out perceive their own religious identity? And how does all this affect Judaism?
"These are the kind of questions tackled by Sylvia Barack Fishman, director of the program in Contemporary Jewish Life in the Near East and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University, in Double or Nothing?.
"Whereas previous studies have focused on numbers - thus providing a snapshot in time - she brings the carefully researched stories of 254 mixed-married, intermarried and converted adults. She goes beyond the statistics to provide a picture of how their religious identity evolved over the course of marriage.
"In the process, she ends up describing an enormous hybrid sub-culture of North American Judeo-Christian families, that differs "strikingly" from all other American Jews.
"This of course has profound implications for North American Jewry, which might soon find itself outnumbered by such alternative families, and even for Israel, which theoretically could be forced to accept many of them under the Law of Return...."
Monday, July 12, 2004
I review Double or Nothing: Jewish Families and Mixed Marriage by Sylvia Barack Fishman in The Jerusalem Post's new literary supplement. It's an important, and fascinating, book. My review begins:
Posted by Miriam at 8:11 AM