The God Squad on intermarriage


In their recent column, advice columnists “The God Squad” were asked a question by the Jewish parents of a woman who was marrying a religious Catholic man. The God Squad makes a great recommendation–make a definite choice in how you’ll raise the children–but they base this recommendation on some very gloomy-sounding statistics about the future of children raised in Jewish/Christian intermarriages. According to The God Squad:

In Jewish/Christian intermarriages, roughly four out of 10 kids are raised as nothing. Four out of 10 are raised as Christians, and two out of 10 as Jews. Among the grandchildren of intermarriages, about 95 out of a 100 are lost to Judaism, with slightly less lost to Christianity.

The best national statistic we’re aware of is that 33 percent of children raised by interfaith couples with one Jewish partner are raised Jewish (which is more like 3 in 10 than 2 in 10). As for how the other 7 of 10 children are raised, there’s no clear national statistic. We emailed The God Squad to find out their source.

Stay tuned.

One thought on “The God Squad on intermarriage”

  • My Jewish husband and I have been married for forty-one joyous years. We have a thirty-two year-old daughter who was raised in my Catholic faith. There were two reasons for this: (1) whereas I and my family regularly practiced our faith, my husband and his family were admitted ‘cultural Jews”; and (2) in Judaism, the child is usually considered to take the religion of the mother anyway.

    What is actually “lost” in all of these discussions, though, is the larger picture. Both religions worship the same God — the God of the Old Testament. Religions are nothing more than different routes to get to HIm. It may be comforting to some to recognize that, in the end, everyone goes to God his own way. Isn’t the most important thing that we get there, and not the means by which we do?

    I do understand about the holocost and the desire to rebuild the population. But we were martyred in great numbers too at one time. I can go to a zoo today and not berate the lions because their ancestors ate mine! At some point, it is time to let go (but never, of course, to forget).

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