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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘assimilated jews’

Study: Adult Children of Intermarriage Less Engaged

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The Jewish-identified adult children of intermarried parents are less likely to participate in organized Jewish activities than their peers with two Jewish parents, according to a new study obtained by JTA.

The Jewish Outreach Institute, a nonprofit that promotes more inclusion of intermarried and unaffiliated Jews into Jewish life, conducted a survey of 204 self-identified Jews raised in intermarried homes and compared the results to a separate poll of 507 Jews with two Jewish parents. All the respondents were in their 20s and 30s.

The institute found that with the exception of those who work in Jewish organizations, even adult children of intermarriage who express strong interest in Judaism are less likely to participate in organized Jewish activities and institutions. Instead, they opt for self-directed Jewish activities like reading Jewish books or visiting Jewish websites.

Adult children of intermarriage make up 25 percent of the 5.3 million American adults who identify as Jews, according to the recent Pew Research Center Survey of U.S. Jews.

Seventy-two percent of the respondents with one Jewish parent reported that they are interested in participating in religious activities, similar to 79 percent of Jews surveyed who had two Jewish parents. However, only a third of the respondents with one Jewish parent participate monthly in such activities compared to 52 percent of those with two Jewish parents.

“Even though our sample was made up of people with closer-than-average ties to the Jewish community, they still engaged with the organized Jewish community at a much lower rate” than their peers with two Jewish parents, Paul Golin, JOI’s associate executive director, told JTA in an interview.

Golin noted that because participants were recruited through social networks, they were more connected to Judaism than the general population of Jews with one Jewish parent. “These are folks who feel a connection and are still not walking through our doors,” he said.

The study reports that Jews with one Jewish parent “often feel excluded by the Jewish community,” particularly if their mother is not Jewish; there is a “general lack of programming” for this population, which is ambivalent about being singled out; and that Jews with one Jewish parent who “have been able to penetrate the core of the institutional Jewish community,” particularly those who work in Jewish organizations, participate in Jewish institutions at the same rate as Jews with two Jewish parents.

“This suggests there are potential interventions that might yield greater institutional participation for adult children of intermarriage,” the report said. It does not offer specific intervention suggestions, however, other than noting that what such Jews want is to be accepted as “fully Jewish.”

“The future of the Jewish community may well depend on the way in which the organized Jewish community treats, relates to and serves these individuals,” the report concludes.

Who Stays on the Bus? The ‘Good Bye, Jon Stewart’ Debate

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Friday is a little less crazy here, at The Jewish Press online, which gives me the free time I need to respond to some of the astute, biting, angry and reasonable reader responses. If I didn’t get to your response, I apologize, feel free to blast me in the comment section right below.

The article that got some reaction this week was Good Bye, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, and Kisses to the Little Gentiles, It followed the Pew report that has been at center stage the whole week, because of the complex light it threw on the Jews on north America. I chose to use Jon Stewart, an identified Jew who is nevertheless married to a Catholic woman, as the perfect example for my views on the matter.

Jerry Blaz, who works at Wal-Mart Supercenter, was very critical of one, largely technical aspect:

What a mealy-mouth excuse for not researching a person’s life to find out if his wife converted or not. Then, maybe you would have examined the tzitzit of the converting rabbinical court. Who knows? John Stuart is your object of a “put-down” because his is a paradigm? Shame, shame.

Jerry referred to my line: “Obviously, I apologize if Mrs. Stewart quietly went and converted to Judaism, just to make me eat my hat. But you understand I’m discussing her and her husband as paradigms.”

I entered that line with the apology just in case, because last time I discussed this, it turned out the nice Reform cantor in question had been converted in secret.

Attention, Jerry Blaz from Wal-Mart: I did research it. There is one statement from Stewart on the subject of his and his spouse’s religious tradition (on the David Letterman Show, Feb. 16, 2012): She was raised Catholic, I was raised Jewish. We’re raising [the children] to be sad.

I disagree that my article was an attempt to “put down” Stewart. It used him, for sure, and made his private life public – but that’s par for the course. I didn’t say anything the least bit disparaging. If anything, my strongest emotion, possibly taking after Stewart’s children, was sadness.

Rina Gray from Haifa, Israel, agrees with me, but I’m not sure I agree with her:

Jon Stewart is a spiteful, greedy and disgraceful person. Just because he was born in Jewish family, doesn’t made him a Jew. He is typical self-hating Jew. I can bet, with some exceptions, most American Jews are lost to Jews forever. They are too greedy, self-centered, self hating lefty retards. They most of all didn’t live in real life, but in the world they create in their sick mind. This disgraceful man lost his marbles, cussing from national TV, like some drug thug. Good riddance to Jews like that. We Israelis don’t need this kind of people. They are not good for Israel. Let them all rot in Hell, which is what USA has become. They cared more about their stupid rights, than about their country or other people.

Our resident assimilated Jew Dan Silagi was right on her:

So you have taken it upon yourself to be the arbiter of who and who isn’t Jewish, Rina?

Others have traveled that road. “Wer Jude ist, bestimme ich (I decide who is a Jew)” – Hermann Goering, who should have stuck to being a fighter pilot until he became too fat to seat in the pilot’s seat.

Really, Dan? Fat jokes? When there are so many good, useful Nazi comparisons available?

Well, I say, Rina – you lose the graceful and charming reader of the week award by a wide berth (that’s not Bertha, Dan).

Dan, you lost, as you do most every week, the “first one to mention the Holocaust is out” rule for Internet discussions. Like Jerry Blaz says: Shame, shame!

On a more original note, Frankel process tech (signed in using yahoo) suggested:

The intermarriage is not so bad, bad is that the Jewish religion has to change and reform. For example, it has to begin proselytizing. Many Christians ask me how they can be Jewish. I send always to speak to a rabbi, whose answer was to inquire if this Christian has Jewish relatives. This is the only stubborn religion that has not proselytizing, why? Look the Evangelicals, Mormons, even the Bahá’í, what is the problem? The people who converted to another religion are more religious at it than they were at their forefather’s religion. It is interesting, and true.

Well, Frankel, I’ve always found the fact that we keep our faith to ourselves and not try to impose it quite endearing and special. Indeed, I find even attempts by various Jewish groups to proselytize fellow Jews a bit vulgar. Indeed, the fact that it’s so hard to be Jewish, with a stunning 80 percent dropout rate, is reassuring when it comes to evaluating the commitment level of any convert who has made it through the rigorous barricades our sages have put up. I couldn’t disagree with you more.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/who-stays-on-the-bus-the-good-bye-jon-stewart-debate/2013/10/04/

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