The challenge for intermarried men raising Jewish children is the tenacity of traditional gender roles. For the most part, men continue to be the main breadwinners for their families while women continue to be the information gatherers and social organizers, maintaining greater influence than their husbands over children’s ethnic and religious upbringing. Women’s hands rock the cradle, so to speak. As a result, men’s presence where Jewish identity is nurtured (at home, the community center, the school, the synagogue) is more limited. Gender will persist in influencing the disproportionately low transmission rate of Jewish identity to children of intermarried men compared to intermarried Jewish women so long as “men’s work” outside the home continues to be more valued than “women’s work” inside it.

Keren McGinity, “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle: How the Gender of the Jewish Parent Influences Intermarriage”, AJS Perspectives (Spring 2013), 42-43.

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