October 21, 2013

Intermarriage.......a very bright spot for Orthodoxy

Just how common is intermarriage in America?

Professor Steven M. Cohen, a research professor at the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion, held up ten fingers then put down three.
“Seven of these ten Jews will marry non-Jews,” he explained.

Cohen participated in a live webcast at the Orthodox Union on Oct. 8 to explain the results of the latest study of American Jewry, the first-ever conducted by the Pew Research Center. Cohen, a sociologist who was a consultant on the study, said the numbers are grim: the study puts the rate of intermarriage by American Jews at 58%. Excluding the Orthodox, the numbers are even higher, with up to 71% of Jews marrying out of the faith.

Those who intermarry are far less likely to raise their children with any Jewish identity. Currently, self-identifying Jews in America account for 2% of the American population, numbering roughly 6.8 million.
However, Cohen explained, the study offers a bright spot for Orthodoxy. The retention rate for those raised Orthodox was surprisingly high, with 83% remaining observant.


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