Disagrees With Wertheimer


As a Conservative Jew and a mohel certified by the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Rabbinical Assembly, in practice for more than 25 years, I was somewhat dismayed at the content of Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Not Too Late To Push In-Marriage?” (Sept. 13). While Professor [Jack] Wertheimer has done extensive work in gathering data on Jewish demographics, I am afraid that he “chooses and picks” his data to suit his points of view. I disagree that intermarried families have lower chances of raising committed Jews, and I believe my statistics and follow-ups prove him wrong.

When dealing with an interfaith couple and their request for a brit milah, I ask if the child will be raised in the Jewish faith. In only three instances over more than 25 years did I get the response, “we wish to have both Jewish and Christian rituals for our newborn son.” (In such cases I advise having a “medical” circumcision, with an appropriate ritual thereafter if the child will be raised as a Jew.)

I think Professor Wertheimer would do the Jewish community and himself a favor to promote and find ways of welcoming and implementing positive programs for the intermarried instead of his academic research and statistical surveys, which I believe are seriously flawed.