Two-thirds of All Jewish Students in Arizona U. Favor Intermarriage
Menu JTA Search

Two-thirds of All Jewish Students in Arizona U. Favor Intermarriage

Download PDF for this date

Jewish students attending the University of Arizona favor intermarriage by a ratio of two to one, according to a survey made by a university student for a minorities relations course.

The survey was conducted by Joel Botfeld, former president of the Tucson Jewish Youth Council. He charged that about 20 percent of the Jewish student population at the university were “college Marranos” who attended church services with their Gentile friends. He conducted the survey by means of a questionnaire among the 520 Jewish students on the University of Arizona campus. Slightly less than half answered the many queries.

The survey also showed that 59 of the students belong to the Hillel Foundation; 80 percent of the males have been Bar Mitzvah, while 61 percent of the females had been confirmed; 78 percent attended Hebrew or Yiddish school, the average length of such study having been six and a half years for males, two and a half years for females; while seven percent had no Jewish religious education at all.

Thirteen percent of the Jewish students do not attend High Holy Day services, and 40 percent attend classes on High Holy Days. Male Jewish students show the greatest amount of mixed dating, while a high percentage of the Jewish girls date Jews.

The Jewish college student today, according to Mr. Botfeld, “does not know what a Jew is. To him, religion is basically a philosophy, but he does not know what the principles of his Judaic faith are.” Much of the blame for the situation, in Mr. Botfeld’s opinion, must be charged against the parents, who are seen by Jewish youngsters as doing at home “the exact opposite” of the Jewishness taught at the Hebrew school or Sunday schools sessions.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund