Category: Intermarriage


The current consensus in America is that people can fall in love across race, ethnic group, and creed and that nothing should stand in their way. As a result, Jews are justly sensitive to the charge that discouraging intermarriage is a form of bigotry, since, for many non-Jews, Jewish aversion to intermarriage is problematic. How can Jews claim to be tolerant and then be unwilling to allow their child to marry a non-Jew? Jews who intermarry also have difficulty understanding their friends’ and relatives’ consternation at their decision, a decision which they perceive as a testament to their openness to different cultures. This view of Jewish intermarriage must change.
Jewish inmarriage is not a form of bigotry.

Scott A. Shay, Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry, 2nd ed. (Jerusalem & New York: Devora Publishing, 2008), 146

The intermarriage of one Jewish individual is rarely a sudden occurrence. Rather, an individual’s choice to intermarry is a function of the depth of their Jewish education and experiences, the density of the Jewish population in the relevant geographic area, and commitment to “in-dating”. An American Jew who chooses to intermarry typically shares many of the same goal and values as his/her non-Jewish fiancé(e) and is, therefore, open to building a family with him or her. Intermarriage is also a sign of the success of Jewish acculturation to the American environment and acceptance by Americans.

Scott A. Shay, Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry, 2nd ed. (Jerusalem & New York: Devora Publishing, 2008), 145-146

Intermarriage is often blamed for the decline in Judaism and in the Jewish population in North America. But the problem is that that Jews are falling in love with non-Jews, but that they aren’t falling in love with Judaism.

Edgar M. Bronfman and Beth Zasloff, Hope, Not Fear: A Path to Jewish Renaissance (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008), 29.

Children become “bilingual,” Katz Miller contends, the way that they might in a home where more than one language is spoken. But often what really happens in homes where two languages are spoken is that children are semi-lingual in both, unable to sustain a robust conversation in either.

Erica Brown, “Part-Time Judaism”, 2013-2014: The Year Gone By…The Year Ahead, A Special Supplement to the Florida Jewish Journal and the New York Jewish Week (27 December 2013), 7.