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Old 01-25-2019, 03:46 AM
 
Location: USA
3,569 posts, read 854,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maccabee36 View Post
Intermarriage has reached record levels in the U.S.
The intermarriage rate is currently at 58% for all Jews and about 70% for the non-Orthodox see the link below for the Pew Study:

Jewish American Intermarriage Patterns and Other Demographics

What is even more alarming is that only about 20% of the children of intermarriages are being raised as Jews see the child rearing chart for the Pew Study below:

Chapter 3: Jewish Identity | Pew Research Center

Unless something is done to deal with the crisis it looks like we are going to lose a large portion of our population in the future.

We have a lot of very intelligent people in the Jewish Community let’s put our heads together and brainstorm. Perhaps we can come up with some good ideas on
how to at least stem the tide of intermarriage and its associated assimilation. Ideas please.
What do you think we should do?
What you should do is mind your own business.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:53 AM
 
45 posts, read 19,702 times
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Hi applej3,
I have a right to speak up especially when the very survival of a large portion of my people is at risk. In fact it is my moral duty to do so.

Last edited by Maccabee36; 01-25-2019 at 04:19 AM..
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:54 AM
 
45 posts, read 19,702 times
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Hi applej3,
I would like to add that in the Jewish religion we are not supposed to just mind our own business when there are bad things going on in this world. We are supposed to right the wrongs. We are supposed to be a shining example, a light unto the nations.

Last edited by Maccabee36; 01-25-2019 at 04:05 AM..
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:32 AM
 
Location: USA
3,569 posts, read 854,069 times
Reputation: 4167
Hi Maccabee36,
Using religion as an excuse to mind other people's business. puhleeze
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:41 AM
 
3,951 posts, read 3,339,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maccabee36 View Post
I still believe that there is a link between intermarriage and assimilation.
Ha ha! You think?

I would suggest the more worrisome correlation is that between Jews who are not connected to Torah and mitzvos and assimilation. That’s the true holocaust of our time. If you’re only looking at intermarriage, you’re looking too myopic and are avoiding the root cause. Being frei is a guarantee that in a generation or few, all your descendants will be baptized.

Having grown up non religious, I know that the “Judaism” I was presented as a child was empty and meaningless. My brother married a goy. My sister is totally assimilated, and only by some miracle did I find a Jewish wife who would start our journey to a Torah life. Twenty years later, I have 2 boys sitting and learning in yeshiva and the rest of my kids at home living a meaningful frum life, Baruch Hashem and kininah hara. I daven 3 times a day that I’ll have dozens of children and grandchildren around my Shabbos and Yom Tov table. And thereby do my part to preserve the Jewish people.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:44 AM
 
3,951 posts, read 3,339,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applej3 View Post
Hi Maccabee36,
Using religion as an excuse to mind other people's business. puhleeze
Spoken like a true goy. We recognize that may be the way of the goyim, but thank G-d it’s not the way of the Jewish people.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:15 AM
 
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Hi applej3,

Let’s use an anology. Say you were walking down the street and you saw someone being attacked would you at the very least call the police, or would you not do anything because it is more important to “Mind your own business”. Of course most people would try to do something.

The future generations of our people could potentially lose millions of people to intermarriage and the associated assimilation. Should we “Mind our own business” or should we try and do something about it. Of course we should try and do something about it. It’s the right thing to do.

I am not using religion as an excuse to do what is right. As a religious person one does not use religion as an excuse to do what is right, one does what is right not only because it is right it is also our religious responsibility.

Last edited by Maccabee36; 01-25-2019 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Camberville
12,012 posts, read 16,758,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maccabee36 View Post
Hi Charolastra00,

You should not be made to feel rejected or unwanted you are just a Jewish as any of us. I agree with you that the Jewish community should be welcoming.

You mentioned that the first time you set foot in a service was in college and that you felt rejected and unwanted. What was it that made you feel that way? Did people make comments? Did you feel uncomfortable because the service was a new experience for you and no one took the time to explain what was going on? In what other settings did you feel rejected or not included and why?

You mentioned that you had a family conflict. It is not unusual a lot of families do. Do you see both sides of the conflict? How do you think it could have been handled better?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maccabee36 View Post
Hi Charolastra00,

I just wanted to follow up on my comments and clarify that while I believe that we should be welcoming, I still believe that there is a link between intermarriage and assimilation. While in some families children are being raised as Jews the vast majority are not. I think that in a lot of cases it has to do with the conflicting religions views that pull children away from Judaism.

While in your case you may have been raised Jewish and it’s wonderful that you were, if most of the children of intermarriage are not this does not bode well for our future. I was just wondering if you could see that side as well?

I was not really raised Jewish - that's the point. My mom would come make latkes at my elementary school, but most of my Jewish education prior to college was reading her 1970s era books from when she became a bat mitzvah because she felt uncomfortable with the way she and her husband were treated. My parents have been married for almost 40 years and she has never returned to Judaism in any real way. The Jewish community of the 1980s' collective hand-wringing about interfaith marriage rather than making a point of trying to reach out to her saw to that. If there had been a synagogue close by, I don't doubt my parents would have made an effort, but it wasn't even a priority to live within an hour of a Jewish community. I begged to go to Hebrew school to no avail - my mom didn't feel like we would be wanted and so didn't make it a priority. That rejection made a DEEP impact on two generations.



Most of the issues my mom faced came from the synagogue itself. She understood that her childhood synagogue and rabbi would not perform the wedding, but she was asked not to bring my father if he didn't convert and lost leadership roles she held in the sisterhood & volunteer committee. The family came down harder on her, despite her children being Jewish, than they did when both of her brothers married gentiles and had children who are not halachacally Jewish. My grandfather refused to come to the wedding, despite going on to marry the Greek Orthodox woman he cheated on my grandmother with who now rests in the Jewish cemetery. Clearly, there's more at play there than just differences of faith. My father's family had no problem with it and had no expectation that my brother and I would be raised with any semblance of a Christian identity, nor any apparent regret that it was lacking.



Now, my brother does not identify as Jewish at all and his daughter will have no Jewish identity in the least. My Jewish connection was entirely of my own force of will, and even then, I felt like I had to bring a non-Jewish person (let's not pretend "goy" isn't pejorative, shall we?) to services and holidays so that someone else would happily explain to them what was going on instead of asking me why I didn't know or using it as an opportunity to offer a shot at my family. I've always felt that converts or gentiles were more welcome in many Jewish circles than Jewish people who did not grow up with a Jewish education.



I can see why intermarriage would not bode well for our future, absolutely. Where I have a problem is when the bulk of what we talk about as a community is the problem (which doesn't feel very nice or welcoming to people who are already born) and not focus on a solution or how to encourage interfaith families to foster their Jewish identity. I suspect that most people who marry into a Jewish family don't come from a strong faith tradition of their own, so why not make a concerted effort to include interfaith spouses into Jewish communal activities without making them feel like they must convert? Why aren't Hillels offering more for young adults - both from interfaith families and not - who may not have had a robust Jewish community or education growing up?



I went to one of THE colleges you go to if you're Jewish - it shouldn't have felt like an uphill battle to belong. Thankfully, I ended up falling into a circle where of my closest friends, one was a Yiddish minor (and now a lawyer) and two became rabbis, and they were instrumental in helping me feel included and never once judged me for being from an interfaith family.



In college, people made comments. Some were off the cuff and not meant to be hurtful, but other people had more pointed criticisms of my mom. My first roommate went on and on about how interfaith families were a travesty. Mind you, she went on to marry a man who isn't Jewish and isn't raising her children Jewish so clearly for all the hurtful things she said to me, she didn't actually believe it. It impacted my dating life - I had one man tell me I was a "shiksa-lite" and not meant for a Jewish marriage and another man's family told me, upon meeting them, that I was fine for a college girlfriend but they didn't want their son marrying me because my dad wasn't Jewish. These weren't Orthodox Jews, either!



At this point in my life, I won't go to a synagogue that doesn't offer specific interfaith family outreach or support.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Maccabee36 View Post
Hi applej3,

Let’s use an anology. Say you were walking down the street and you saw someone being attacked would you at the very least call the police, or would you not do anything because it is more important to “Mind your own business”. Of course most people would try to do something.

The future generations of our people could potentially lose millions of people to intermarriage and the associated assimilation. Should we “Mind our own business” or should we try and do something about it. Of course we should try and do something about it. It’s the right thing to do.

I am not using religion as an excuse to do what is right. As a religious person one does not use religion as an excuse to do what is right, one does what is right not only because it is right it is also our religious responsibility.



To extend this metaphor, the way that some treat interfaith families is closer to asking a rape victim what kind of underwear she was wearing and why was she walking alone at night rather than asking how they can make her feel safe again. Blame and shame versus support and inclusivity. Why would someone embrace the shame?
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:22 PM
 
Location: USA
3,569 posts, read 854,069 times
Reputation: 4167
Hi Maccabee36,
I doubt that you're the spokesperson for all Jewish people.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:03 PM
 
45 posts, read 19,702 times
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Hi Charolastra00,

I admire you. You seem to have a tremendous amount of strength and perseverance. People talk about intermarriage in a negative light in order to discourage it. This should not be directed at you however you had no control over your circumstances. You were literally born into them. You have no reason to feel shame on the contrary you should be proud of what you have accomplished. As you said yourself you connected with your Judaism through your own force of will.

I know that you have had some bad experiences dating, I don’t think you should give up on finding a Jewish guy if you keep trying sooner or later you will find someone who will see you as the person you truly are. People can make comments sometimes that are cruel you shouldn’t let it get you down, not everyone in the Jewish community is like that.

I agree with you that Jewish education is the key. I also agree that it needs to be for all Jews. Are you continuing your Jewish studies? and if so how are you doing it?

I think that the Jewish community needs to reach out more to the Jewish children of intermarriages.
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