Finding Spiritual Oneness in Interfaith Relationships

20th Century Jewish-Gentile Marriage Trends

Disaffiliation

The 1990 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) revealed dramatic trends within the American Jewish community. Most prominent were the declining birth rate, rising intermarriage rate and a steady exodus out from the religion Judaism. Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman noted that about 63 percent of the core Jewish population was unaffiliated.

They belong to no synagogue and, in most cases, do not hold membership in any Jewish organization or institution. These unaffiliated Jews contribute far less to Jewish charities than those who belong to synagogues: few subscribe to Jewish publications or observe religious practices at home.

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Resolving the December Dilemma

I don't know where I first heard the term "December dilemma," but it accurately describes a Jewish conundrum at this time of year. It refers to the cross-cultural tension that intermarried, specifically Jewish-Gentile couples and their children, experience at the winter holiday season.

Many intermarried couples find these days particularly distressing. Familiar cultural symbols seem to scratch across the grain of a partner's ideal for celebrating the season.

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