Article Discussion: Im Jewish but What Difference Does That Make about Whom I Date

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This topic has 3 voices, contains 3 replies, and was last updated by  Larry Kelley 1266 days ago.

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April 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm #1481

admin

Click here to read the article: Im Jewish but What Difference Does That Make about Whom I Date

May 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm #5819

Janet

I have heard that the intermarriage rate in the U.S. is between %50 to
%70 and that in many areas synagogues and Temples have closed down and there is no sign left of Jewish life. (Of course, there are always exceptions). This sad disappearence of Judiasm
has been called the “Silent
Holocaust”. It seems that your website is encouraging this. Why? Also, it seems that the parents were not so happy with the situation and would have preferred Jewish spouces for their children. They kind of have
an ” if you can’t fight them
join them attitude.” Wouldn’t it be nicer if you would encouage Jews to marry Jews

May 30, 2011 at 5:42 pm #5821

Debbie B.

Janet,

The article also made me somewhat uncomfortable, but I disagree with your response.

70% sounds like an exaggeration and “I’ve heard” is hardly a reliable source. In my area, a number of synagogues have closed, but the reason is more demographic than intermarriage: the Jews have been moving to other areas. You can see that this is the case even for Orthodox institutions where a Judaica store and kosher restaurant and an Orthodox day school have moved from the city to my neighboring suburb in recent years. Also, you assume that intermarried families will not associate with and support a synagogue. While that may be true if they are shunned or treated badly, there are many intermarried families who are very active in synagogue life—I know many personally, and you can read about many on this website. Even if you are a traditionalist, don’t forget that many of those children are halachically Jewish. In addition, some of the non-Jewish spouses will eventually convert—I am one of those and I personally know of many others. In every case I personally know, we all actively embraced Judaism from the beginning, and one of the reasons we did not convert before marriage is that we took conversion very seriously and felt the need to know more about Judaism or understand our relationship with God before formally converting.

If you take the time to read the material on this website, you will find that it does not “encourage intermarriage”, but rather is aimed at people who are already in an intermarriage or interfaith relationship. It does not encourage Jews to purposely look for spouses who are non-Jewish. Of the intermarried Jews I know, all of them would have preferred to have married a Jew—some of them spent decades trying to find a Jewish spouse first.

The overall attitude of IFF is not “if you can’t fight them, join them”, although I would agree that a few of the articles such as this one do read somewhat like that. However the main idea of IFF is that being negative to interfaith families will not cause them not to exist and that pushing away the Jewish partner does certain and direct harm in reducing the number of active and affiliated Jews. Many Jews assume that intermarried Jews are by definition turning their backs on Judaism, but they are wrong, and by treating intermarried Jews badly they simply attempt to make that a reality and then blame the intermarried Jew.

If you would like to support activities that encourage Jews to meet and marry, you should do so. I’m sure that the founder and staff of IFF are supportive of those efforts too. I personally think that much more effort and money needs to go to Jewish education of Jewish kids. It won’t ensure that they marry Jews, but it will tip the scale if having a Jewish life is more important to them.

To reiterate: I encourage you to read more articles and investigate the website more before concluding that it “encourages intermarriage”.

June 9, 2011 at 1:20 am #5846

Larry Kelley

I assume that Jewish persons practicing or not believe in The God of Abraham – if so how can they consider an agnostic or athesist as a partner in a marriage-covenant, to be blessed by the great I Am ?  I have read the Christian version of the Torah and sense the Lord God holds covenant with believers. My prayer asks Him for a lady-female that believes very strongly, and no matter how she practices and lives out that faith she will bring a blessing for our union/ family.

As to the question of what difference -I say first know God knows; who you are dating- make any sense in the Jewish culture?

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