Jewish Intermarriage in American Society: Literature Review

Aviva Gordon


As of the 1960s, intermarriage has been the most researched, contentious, and discussed topic of American Jewish family life. Jews, like other ethnic groups, struggle and work hard to find a place in American life, while debating what level of their traditional Jewish heritage is to be maintained. As the tensions and pulls between assimilation and ethnic group loyalty ensue, the greatest debate is the context and impact of intermarriage amongst and between the Orthodox and Reform sections of the Jewish people. On one hand, Orthodox families argue Jewish intermarriage decimates the continuity of the Jewish people. On the other hand, the Reform movement views intermarriage as an opportunity to effectively assimilate within American culture while maintaining a sense of Jewishness. As American life continues to evolve, and as Jews continue to intermarry, the debate for optimal stability, functionality, consistency, and continuity for the American Jewish community will continue.

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