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Speculating on Jewish Futures

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Publication Date: April 2004

Publisher(s): Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Author(s): Leonard Saxe; Deborah Coltin; Dru Greenwood; Steven Bayme; Sylvia Barack Fishman

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Cultural heritage and preservation)
Social conditions (Marriage and family life)

Keywords: Jewish Continuity; Intermarriage; Jewish Outreach

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


The speakers give their views on how to shape the future of American Judaism. Bayme challenges the community to take a countercultural position by discouraging intermarriage and questions the efficacy of outreach to intermarried families. Greenwood proposes a 'Torah of outreach', rooted in traditional texts, and imagines how the community can invite Jewish choices. Coltin suggests that in addition to supporting outreach to mixed-marrieds, communal and programmatic support for inmarriage is required. Saxe considers in and out-marriage from the perspective of community building and social capital, in which the overarching goal must be one of creating a community that people actually want to be part of. Fishman compares the phenomenon of intermarriage in the USA to intermarriage internationally. Finally, she recounts and reflects on the highlights of the 2004 Double or Nothing: Jewish Families and Mixed Marriage conference.