Shmuel on Saxe


Shmuel Rosner, Ha’aretz’s American correspondent, continues his ongoing series of interviews with American experts on Jewish demography and intermarriage with the start of a Q&A with Len Saxe, the co-author of the 2005 Greater Boston Jewish Community Study and the just-published “Reconsidering the Size and Characteristics of the American Jewish Population.” Saxe’s appearance on Rosner’s blog follows interviews over the last year with our president, Ed Case, Steven Cohen, Sylvia Barack Fishman and Ira Sheskin.

As discussed in this space before, the “Reconsidering” study synthesizes the results of 37 population studies to determine the size of the American Jewish population and concludes that there are more than 6 million Jews in the U.S.–nearly a million more than the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01 estimated. Over the years, Saxe has used demographic data to demonstrate that the intermarried are a vital and growing part of the American Jewish community.

It’s interesting that Rosner discusses intermarriage so much in his blog. In a recent The (Pittsburgh) Jewish Chronicle article, he says that Israeli and American Jewish interests are drifting apart; where Israelis are worried about the existential threat of a nuclear Iran, American Jews are worried about the perceived assimilationist threat of interamrriage.

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