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Patterns of Intermarriage Among American Jews: Varieties, Uniformities, Dilemmas, and Prospects

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Publication Date: August 1978

Publisher(s): American Jewish Committee

Author(s): Egon Mayer

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Study; Jewish identification; Intermarriage; Jewish Continuity

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The author analyzes and summarizes the results of a survey of 446 families in which one spouse was Jewish by birth and the other was not. The objective was to develop quantitative and qualitative information regarding the consequences of the difference in the religious and ethnic background of couples on personal identity and family organization, with a general interest in the dynamics of Jewish continuity. The author finds that the outcomes of intermarriage fall along a continuum whose extreme points are represented by either the total assimilation of the Jewish-born spouse into the Gentile social world or the total assimilation of the born-Gentile spouse into the Jewish social world, with most cases falling in between the extremes.