Understanding a Believer's PerspectiveÂ
North America is not the leader in Jewish intermarriage. Jewry in the former Soviet Union holds that distinction with an intermarriage rate near 80%. However, intermarriage has been a dominant characteristic of the North American Jewry since 1985. Roughly half of all American Jews, who were married in the last 25 years have wedded Gentile spouses. Â If you are in that trend, you are not alone.
Traditional Jewish social authorities, like rabbis, recognize that they can no longer prevent intermarriage. Â The religious taboo against intermarriage has collapsed in North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union.
While personal experience has shown Jewish people that they can choose to intermarry, sociological studies have shown that the consequences can produce great risk. Â Social research has shown that interfaith marriages are at greater risk of disillusion than same faith marriages [V.R. Call & T.B. Heaton. Â "Religious Influence on Marital Stability." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1997: 36 (3) Pp. 382-392.] Â Differences in religious faith, added to differences in ethnic heritage, have been found to be significant factors in marital stability and satisfaction [T.B. Heaton and E.L. Pratt. Â "The Effects of Religious Homogamy on Marital Satisfaction and Stability," Journal of Family Issues 11 (1990): 191-207.]
Social scientists are pointing out a significantly higher risk to marriages among partners like Jewish-Gentile couples. Â That does not mean that your relationship has to be ill-fated. Â The inability to find spiritual intimacy and harmony are at the heart of Jewish-Gentile couple dilemma. Â We hope the following articles would provide insight and encouragement in finding hope for a lasting relationship together. Â The section on Finding Spiritual Harmony is also recommended on this point. We would be glad to hear from you, to know of further questions or subjects that you would like us to develop.