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May 01, 1964 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-05-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Purely Commentary

Continued from Page 1
perform, is not likely to respect their ways,
nor is he likely to fill the warmth and com-
fort of such a 'religion.' It is more likely
that children will feel repelled and offended
by its emptiness and hypocrisy."
Rabbi Gordon advises "against pri-
vate interdating if you wish to preserve
your own faith." He states that inter-
dating encourages intermarriage and he
urges instead extension of "group activi-
ties, interdenominational, intercultural,
and international because they have social
and educational value."
Parents who face the problem of their
children's intermarriage, he states, "should
insist, for the young people's ultimate hap-
piness, that a formal period of the study
of the new religion be undertaken in all
sincerity and truth, and that there be a
formal conversion to the religion of the
dominant member of the couple.
He warns against anger by parents and
while advising parents "to dissuade their
children from intermarrying," he adds:
"They should do so lovingly and as per-
suasively as possible, but always realizing
that their most important 'possession' is
their child. Parents who threaten their
children, or w h o
insist that they
will disinherit
them, or refuse to
acknowledge them
as their children,
are guilty of the
greatest of all
crimes."
Classification of
opposition to in-
termarriage as
"prejudiced" is in
itself a prejudice,
Rabbi Gordon de-
Dr. Gordon
clares. Acceptance
of interracial marriages, he writes, "seems
far distant." Members of various faiths
regard the values of their religions as
"worth perpetuating," and "to such per-
sons, intermarriage means the ultimate
loss of the values by which they live."
"There are those who say," Dr. Gordon
points out, "that marriages involving part-
ners who were or are of different faiths
are twice as likely to fail as are those
marriages involving persons of the same
faith. Others insist that interfaith marriages
are likely to fail four to six times more
frequently than those in which both parties
were and still are of the same religious
faith. Because differences between Ameri-
cans are being reduced does not mean that

they do not exist or have no effect upon
us . . ."
"It is my conviction," Dr. Gordon
affirms, "that intermarriage is definitely
inadvisable. It places a greater stress and
strain upon marriage than is ordinarily
true when persons of similar religious
views are married . . . As I view it,
intermarriage constitutes a threat to
society and is not necessarily a promise
of a brighter day to come."
Reiterating that intermarriages will
continue, he advises parents to provide
their children with the best religious
tvaining in their homes and schools and
to commence such an education as early
as possible; to learn to distinguish between
'talkers' and 'doers': to make identifications
as rich and as rewarding as possible.
And he advises parents not to break
the ties that bind them to children who
intermarry.
Dr. Gordon's conclusions are based on
a study so thorough that it embraces every
aspect of family life and of interreligious,
intercultural, interracial and interethnic
experience.
Apparently, Jewish mixed marriages are
lower than that of any other faith. Dr.
Gordon's survey goes to the root of the
problem. The numerous case histories,
giving actual experiences, enrich this great
work. The author not only consulted the
children but also parents. In one of the
studies, he reports 47 per cent Protestants,
31 per cent Catholics and 12 per cent
Jewish. As to their parents:
"Fifty-one per cent of the fathers, ac-
cording to their sons and daughters, are
Protestant (while 47 per cent of the stu-
dents themselves claim to be Protestants)
25 per cent of the fathers are Catholics
(while 31 per cent of the students are
Catholics). There are then 6 per cent more
Catholic students than there are Catholic
fathers. This appears to be due to the fact
that these youths follow the religion of
the mother more frequently than that of
the father. It is interesting to note that
12 per cent of the fathers are Jewish
(exactly • the same percentage as that of
the Jewish college youth) . . . Interestingly,
exactly the same -per cent of mothers and
fathers and children are Jewish (12 per
cent) . . ."
Differences in attitudes relating to
intermarriage and interdating depend
on regional and class factors as well as
religious considerations, Dr. Gordon re-
ports. He states: "Stereotypes and preju-
dices continue to exist to the hurt of
the three major religious groups and

Brewing Middle East Troubles
Revealed in CENTO Discussions

Direct JTA Teletype Wires to The Jewish News

WASHINGTON—Britain was reported here Tuesday as anticipating a major crisis
in the Arab-Israel dispute within the coming months, although not the kind of crisis
that may lead to open warfare.
The Arab-Israel conflict is among the major topics on the agenda of the session
of the Council of Ministers of the CENTO, Central Treaty Organization, which opened
here Tuesday with speeches by Secretary of State Dean Rusk and by the foreign min-
isters of Britain, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and other CENTO powers. The major topics
are being discussed behind closed doors.
Reliable sources indicated Tuesday that Britain is increasingly worried over the
status of the Israel-Arab conflict, feeling that Arab hostility against Israel is actually
much stronger than the impression prevailing in the United States.

LONDON—Three of England's leading daily newspapers reported Tuesday, in
connection with the meeting of CENT() in Washington, that both Egypt and Israel are
attempting to develop some types of tactical atomic warheads.
According to the Daily Express, CENTO delegates have been told that Britain has
"evidence" that both Egypt and Israel are trying to develop "minor nuclear warheads,"
made of conventional high explosives with radioactive materials which when they
explode spray nuclear materials over a broad area. "Israel," said the Daily Express,
"might produce such warheads possibly with French help and Egypt could have them
only with Russian help."
According to the Manchester Guardian, possible development of a serious crisis in the
Middle East this year is causing the British government some anxiety. These anxieties,
stated the newspaper, are twofold "and in both instances Nasser is seen as the chief
culprit." One of the difficulties, the Guardian said, is the "mounting Arab belligerence
against Israel over the Jordan waters." The other trouble is seen to be related to
Egypt's anti-British campaign. "If Israel and its Arab neighbors follow the policies
they have threatened over the Jordan," said the Guardian, "an explosion can be ex-
pected this summer. The newspaper adds that Britain is inclined to take seriously the
possibility that both Israel and the Arab states might in the near future acquire nuclear
warheads for tactical purposes and if they did so "a conflict in the Middle East would
clearly be very dangerous for the world at large."
The Times reported that the Russians have supplied Egypt with minor nuclear
warheads, saying there was evidence that Israel might soon have such weapons. "It is
not suggested that Israel and Egypt are about to shower radioactive dust over each
other or that open warfare of any sort is imminent," the Times said. "But the British
are evidently impressed with the seriousness of the Middle East situation. Their feel-
ings do not appear to be wholly shared in the United States State Department where
the failure to move the Egyptians out of Yemen has led to no form of pressure more
severe than diplomatic representations." The Times also notes that American loans
and grants to Egypt totalled $52,000,000 in addition to $140,000,000 worth of aid under
Story Page 5
the "Food For. Peace". program.

2

Friday, May 1, 1964

TIRE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Rabbi Gordon Calls Mixed Marriages
Inadvisable and Threat to All
Faiths . . . Opposes Interdating

particularly to the minorities—Catholics
and Jews . . . Students who are sup-
posedly receiving a 'higher' education
are obviously prejudiced also."
He adds that "Jews and Catholics, in
that order, appear to be the victims of a
greater bias than are Protestants . . .
Religious homes do not appear to lessen
bias against persons of other religions.
Analyzing the factors that affect the
rate of intermarriage, Rabbi Gordon calls
the family "the nuclear institution of
society," and expresses the view that "the
Jewish family, generally regarded as the
most cohesive of all family groups in
contemporary times, is weakening." He
declares that "Jewish parental attitude,
although clearly unfriendly to the idea
of intermarriage, is far less intransigent
than it was a generation ago." The decline
of religious authority in the home, the
increasing homogeneity of the nation's
population, elimination of bias clauses in
college fraternities and sororities, a r e
among the factors contributing to the rise
of the rate of intermarriage.
Nevertheless, the survey shows, "74
per cent of the Jews reported that they
owe their greatest loyalty to the family,
as compared with 24 per cent of the
Catholics and 39 per cent of the Protes-
tants."
The lengthy chapter devoted by Rabbi
Gordon to the story of the Jew and inter-
marriage offers a bird's-eye view of the
situation on a worldwide scale. It shows
the rapid increase in mixed marriages in
many lands—pointing, for example, to the
possibility of the disappearance of the
Jewish communities in Scandinavian coun-
tries. The survey shows an increase in
intermarriage in Canada. Case histories,
rules in opposition to mixed marriages in
Conservative and Reform ranks, a number
of case histories presenting the experiences
and opinions of a number of young people
who intermarried, the positions of parents
and other viewpoints are included in this
study.
Rabbinic views are quoted, and the
position of rabbis who insist on officiating
at mixed marriages is presented here. The
Reform rabbi in Hawaii, as an instance,
expressed the strong conviction that mixed
marriages can work out successfully. Of
Hawaii's 370 Jewish families, 150 families
are temple members and 24.6 per cent of
them are intermarried.
American rabbis are quoted as conced-
ing that there will be an increase in inter-
faith marriages involving Jews: "Forty-five

By Philip
Slomovitz

rabbis declare that 'propinquity' will be
the primary cause of this increase; 34
believe that parents exercise less control
over their children,' while 26 believe that
an increase in intermarriage may be due
to the simple fact that 'more Jewish boys
and girls go to colleges and universities.'
Sixteen rabbis declare that 'Jewish youth
is less religious today' and 15 feel that
the increase will be due to the 'more ready'
acceptance of Jews in non-sectarian college
fraternities'."
Most conservative and orthodox rab-
bis, we are told, regard reform rabbis
as too "lenient" in the indoctrination of
proselytes who seek conversion to Juda-
ism in order to marry Jews. "Reform
rabbis are less prone than the orthodox
and conservative to insist upon a lengthy
study of theological concepts, history,
customs, ceremonies and the Hebrew
language. They do not insist that the
traditional ritual of conversion—immer-
sion for the female and the circumcision
of the male—be observed."
A Reform rabbi, Dr. Max Eichhorn, who
performs mixed marriages and does not
require a formal conversion, is quoted
here as saying that 20 per cent of Reform
rabbis will officiate at marriages under
conditions other than those laid down Tay
tradition.
Dr. Gordon's thorough study has earned
the interest it has aroused. It is a factual
survey, it relates to all elements in thiS
nation's population, it touches upon a
most serious issue involving the attitudes
of a majority and it does not hesitate to
take a stand in opposition to mixed mar-
riages. It merits the thorough discussions
it is certain to arouse for a long time to
come.
The widest use should be made of this
volume. Families that are either affected
by impending intermarriages of their chil-
dren or may be concerned about their
sons or daughters who are leaving for
universities where they may be drawn into
spheres that become factors encouraging
mixed marriages, would do well to present
the facts to the youth. Communities should
acquire the book in large numbers as a
means of study of a serious problem. Book
reviewers would do well to deviate from a
practice of reviewing sexy novels and
instead give consideration to Dr. Gordon's
survey. Serious crises may be averted
from the acquisition of knowledge about
an issue that affects all ethnic groups, 011
racial and religious elements.

A CHART FROM DR. GORDON'S "INTERMARRIAGE"

Percentage of students in 40 American colleges and universities who agree with state.
ments in Modified Social Distance Scale with Respect to JEWS.

Name of School

Have
as
intimate
friend

79%
Amhurst College
59
Atlanta College
67
Boston College
84
Boston U.
82
Bowdoin College
90
Brown U.
87
U. of Calif. (Berk.)
86
U. of Colorado
86
U. of Denver
81
Emanuel College
70
Emory U.
77
Fisk U.
81
Florida State U.
90
Grinnell College
95
Harvard U.
57
U. of Hawaii
76
Holy Cross College
77
Indiana U.
86
U. of Iowa
67
U. of Kentucky
77
U. of Minnesota
Newton Sacred Heart 69
86
Northeastern U.
NE U. Control Group 77
83
Notre Dame U.
97
Oberlin College
81
Ohio U.
Ohio Wesleyan U. 87
91
Queens College
St. Louis University 77
Santa Monica City C. 83
55
Stonehill College
Texas Southern U. 55
90
Tulane U.
Washington State U. 68
88
Wesleyan U.
Western Reserve U. 89
83
U. of Wisconsin
Women's College A 88
Women's College B 99
Women's College C 92

40 schools
Average

85%

Work
beside
on
job

Live
on
same
block

Marry

Bar
from
. block

92%
78
93
89
90
94
97
92
95
96
82
87
93
91
98
72
96
90
96
79
92
83
92
87
97
99
94
96
94
94
93
71
70
92
90
95
95
95
97
99
97

88%
67
78
83
83
86
87
82
86
86
78
86
80
90
92
65
84
80
88
78
85
74
84
77
73
97
86
87
96
84
88
58
63
92
77
85
87
80
86
89
92

2%
35
18
56
58
62
44
36
38
19
16
42
16
41
67
24
38
26
35
24
29
20
44
38
13
63
41
40
72
20
56
5
19
61
6
23
54
33
48
56
66

2%
3
8
4
1
5
3
6
9
3
10
0
4
0
4
9
5
7
3
V
4
6
6
11
13
5
o
6
4
3
4
11
6
2
10
3
2
38
3
1
2

93%

84%

37%

6%

Bar
from
social
club

Date OT
allow
child tiO
date

4%
42%
4
58
9
9
5
68
75
3
78
9
10
70
13
75
15
79
40
4
38
43
6
67
18
52
2
79
90
6
45
5
55
31
23
53
12
61
23
52
53
7
23
28
6
67
7
59
17
54
5i
13
70
72
11
83
6
18
25
6
75
10
13
39
7
82
13
ler
17
35
8
6
66
17
37
8
76
8
80
91.
4

12%

60%

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