Menu JTA Search

New York Rabbis, Social Workers Offer Program to Check Intermarriage

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

A four-point program was recommended today by 50 rabbis and Jewish social workers for implementation by synagogues and Jewish social agencies in an effort to preserve the continuance of the American Jewish community against threats of assimilation through intermarriage.

The program was the result of a special two day conference on the problem of intermarriage, held under the sponsorship of the Commission on Synagogue Relations of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. The conference recommended:

1. Establishment of an Institute on Intermarriage to study the problem, which was reported as particularly acute on the college campuses in this country.

2. Establishment of counseling centers on personal problems and Judaism, “to bring desperately needed guidance to those on the periphery of Jewish life, who have no access to existing agencies.”

3. Pooling of the resources of home, synagogue, Jewish schools, community centers and summer camp for the intensification of Jewish education on all levels, both formal and informal, reaching college youth and Jewish adults as well as children.

4. The convening of a more broadly based conference on intermarriage;

Dr. Nathan Goldberg, professor of sociology at Yeshiva University, presented demographic data showing that the rete of intermarriage is now mounting, “corresponding with the acculturation process and the passing of the Jewish immigrant generation.”

Bernard Resnikoff, director of Ramah Camp, told the conference that Jewish social workers have an obligation to point out to clients contemplating intermarriage the consequences of such a step, and to inform them of the growing evidence that mixed marriage has less likelihood of success than interfaith marriage.

The proposal for the establishment of an Institute on Intermarriage was made by Dr. Robert Gordis, rabbi of Temple Beth El, Rockaway Park, who told the conference that the task of the Jewish community today is “to create inner resources of cohesion and loyalty, in order to reduce the price of intermarriage that results from living in an open society.”

NEXT STORY