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What We Learned from the 2009 Passover/Easter Survey



While the confluence of Passover and Easter is not as culturally prominent as the so-called "December dilemma," deciding how to celebrate these major religious holidays is one of the key potential conflicts in interfaith families. In February and March 2009, we conducted our fifth annual Passover/Easter Survey to determine the attitudes and behaviors of people in interfaith relationships during Passover and Easter. In response to recent conflicting reports about the effect of intermarriage on American Jews' attitudes toward Israel, we also decided to ask questions about people's attitudes toward Israel.

Of the 802 respondents, we focused on the 229 who were in interfaith relationships and raising children exclusively Jewish.

All of these respondents plan on celebrating Passover in some way, while slightly less than half plan on celebrating Easter. Nearly all plan on attending a seder, while only a small fraction plan on hosting Easter dinner, going to church for Easter or telling the Easter story.

When it comes to Israel, the Jewish partners in interfaith marriages raising Jewish children are as supportive and as connected to Israel as American Jews in general. Their non-Jewish partners are also supportive of Israel, but feel much less connected to Israel.

Table of Contents

The Report
     Attitudes Toward Israel
Demographic Portrait of Our Respondents
Policy Implications

To read the rest of the report, please visit What We Learned from the 2009 Passover-Easter Survey (PDF) (Also available in Word format).

The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Hebrew for "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals.

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