Survey examines attitudes toward intermarriage among U.S. Jews

Posted: Friday, November 10, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) -- A poll of American Jews finds a minority voicing distress over intermarriage with non-Jews. Some 39 percent say ''it would pain me if my child married a gentile,'' while 56 percent disagree. Twelve percent ''strongly disapprove'' of mixed marriages.

Opposition remains overwhelming among Orthodox Jews, however.

The American Jewish Committee poll also shows a majority of Jews want rabbis to conduct interfaith weddings, even if Christian clergy participate.

While 68 percent disagree that the non-Jewish partner should be encouraged to convert to Judaism, 69 percent see an obligation to urge Jews to marry other Jews.

''The taboo on mixed marriages has clearly collapsed,'' commented David Singer, the committee's research director.

Said Steven Bayme, who directs the committee's department on Jewish life: ''The growing acceptability of mixed marriage, coupled with a sharp decline in the percentage of respondents who favor conversion to Judaism, is clearly dismaying.''

The September telephone survey of 1,010 U.S. Jews had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

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