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It’s Not Just Who Stands Under the Chuppah: Intermarriage and Engagement

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies; Steinhardt Social Research Institute

Author(s): Fern Chertok; Benjamin Phillips; Leonard Saxe

Funder(s): Union for Reform Judaism

Funder(s): Union for Reform Judaism

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Intermarriage; Family; Jewish Identity

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Contemporary debates concerning assimilation and continuity in the Jewish community tend to focus on the religious identity of the couple that “stands under the chuppah” to the exclusion of all other factors. Our analysis of multiple sources of data suggest, however, that Jewish socialization in the form of Jewish education, experience of home ritual, and social networks plays a far more important role than having intermarried parents, in determining Jewish identity, behavior, and connections.