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While more than 50 percent of teenage Conservative Jews say they want to marry a Jewish partner, only 18 percent date Jews exclusively.
This very interesting fact was relayed to IFF by Ariela Keysar, a noted demographer at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. This was one of the findings of a study she co-authored for the Conservative movement called The Next Generation: Jewish Children and Adolescents.
But back to the original reason I wrote this post. I found her testimony about Conservative Jewish teens quite revealing because I think these stats are reflective of a larger, unreported trend: the disconnect between people’s attitudes and actions on intermarriage.
While it’s easy to say you want to marry a Jewish partner some time in the future, the available dating pool often minimizes that possibility, especially if you live in an area with a small Jewish population and/or don’t have many Jewish friends. That’s why intermarriage is a fact of American Jewish life that isn’t going away, and that’s why the Jewish community needs to do a better job of working with the intermarried.
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