SYDNEY, Australia (Mar. 17)
A study of Australian Jews reveals that intermarriage remains far below that of American Jews.
The report, conducted by a New South Wales University doctoral student, compared the rate of 13.1 percent intermarriage with that of the United States, where more than half the Jews wed since 1985 have married non-Jews.
The favorable figure for the Australian Jewish community was also compared to that for other Australian groups.
Anglicans married out at a rate of 34.7 percent, and Australian Catholics had a rate of 29.9 percent.
Muslims in Australia had the lowest intermarriage rate, at 6 percent. Buddhists intermarried at a rate of 15.6 percent.
The survey, titled “Marriage Across Religious Boundaries,” was based on previously unpublished data from the 1991 Australian census and was published in People and Places magazine.
The author, Tony Gariano, noted that the census question on religion was not mandatory. Still, 90 percent of the population claimed to belong to a particular religion or identified themselves as having “no religion.”
Gariano, who is Jewish, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “the low out-marriage rate for Jews is well-documented.”
The census figures support research conducted by the Australian Jewish Welfare Society and by Bill Rubinstein of Deakin University. Deakin said the rate of intermarriage among Jews in Australia “is the lowest in the Diaspora.”