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Series of Studies Reveals New Data on Intermarriage

December 5, 2001
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Interfaith families have been the subject of much research in the past year.

A new demographic study replicating the methodology from the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey found that while the total percentage of intermarried Jews is growing, the rate has stabilized.

Fifty-one percent of Jews marrying in the past 10 years married non-Jews, the new study found, compared with the 1990 NJPS figure of 52 percent who married non-Jews between 1985 and 1989.

Overall, the study on America Jewish identity found, 33 percent of American Jews are married to non-Jews, up from 28 percent in 1990.

An American Jewish Committee survey recently found that the taboo against intermarriage has largely disappeared and that a majority of American Jews believe rabbis should officiate at weddings between Jews and non-Jews.

In addition, a Jewish Outreach Institute study championed the impact of outreach programs — particularly ones that take place outside of synagogues — while another study this year was more skeptical about prospects for Jewish continuity among interfaith families.

That study, by Brandeis University professor Sylvia Barack Fishman, found that even intermarried families that say they are raising their children as Jews tend to incorporate Christian celebrations in the home.

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