60% of Interfaith Families in Boston are Raising Children Jewish


There is extraordinary news this morning: according to a demographic study of Boston’s Jewish community released today, 60 percent of intermarried households are raising their children Jewish.

Michaal Paulson of the Boston Globe did a front-page story on this remarkable development this morning, and the news is clearly striking a chord. As of 9:20 a.m. EST, “Jewish population in region rises” was the most e-mailed story on Boston.com–and rising.

The news is extraordinary for two reasons:
1) As our publisher and president, Ed Case, says in the article, “Boston has the most extensive and most well-funded and most well-organized outreach to interfaith families in the country.” This development shows that for a relatively small investment–only 1 percent of Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ annual allocations–outreach can produce tangible, measurable, powerful results.

2) For years leading voices in the Jewish community have been referring to intermarriage as a “threat.” This shows it can be an opportunity, an opportunity to expand and enrich the Jewish community. Why is that? Because 50 intermarried Jews create 50 households, while 50 inmarried Jews form 25 households. If only 25 of the 50 intermarried households–50 percent, that is–raise their children Jewish, they are raising the same number of children as the 25 Jewish households. If more than 50 percent of intermarried households raise their children Jewish–as they are doing in Boston–they contribute to a net increase in the Jewish population, which is what Boston has seen in the last 10 years.

We will keep you regularly updated on press about this extraordinary development.

2 thoughts on “60% of Interfaith Families in Boston are Raising Children Jewish”

  • Robin, I am very sorry for your loss and for the terrible way you’ve been treated. If you would email me privately at edc@interfaithfamily.com, I would be glad to try to help you find a welcoming synagogue. Synagogues depend on dues to function, but in my experience they are always willing to offer dues abatements for people who can’t afford the dues. I would be glad to help you find that kind of place.

  • I am Jewish and my husband Catholic and we have an 8 yr old daugher who was christened. Since that time my husband wanted our daughter to be raised Jewish. One temple wanted $5000+. I don’t have it. Through a family member with a Rabbi was directed to a temple in another town that would accept what I was able to pay. My husband was very ill which I explained, as well as most money paying for a private education for my daughter. When I told them what I could afford based on all my expenses, and the fact that my husband would never be able to attend, and I would need to pay as a single parent. I was up front with the ability to pay $25 per month. The person I spoke with took acception to that indicating I would need to pay as a couple and couldn’t understand why I could pay what I did for a private education and not religious studies. I was honest financially and indicated my daughter could attend church weekly for $5.00 per week. My husband died 10/04/06 and now may need to send my daughter to church. Just wanting to vent!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *