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June 24, 1988 - Image 96

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-24

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Continued from preceding page

Zahava Shalom

Consultant to the
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$ 208 37*

*Lease pymt. based on approved credit on 48 mos. closed end,
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multiply pymt. times 48. Subject to 4% use tax, 1st mo. in advance,
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FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 1988


Just East of Novi Rd., Novi

that amount.
About one-fifth of the
wealthiest Jews — those with
incomes over $100,000 a year
— say they met at school, but
about 40 percent met through
family and friends. Wealthy
Jews, the study revealed, are
extremely unlikely to meet in
public places.
Intermarried couples are
the group most likely to meet
each other in public settings.
More than two-thirds of inter-
married couples met each
other at work, at school, or at
a party or other public place.
About one-fifth of intermar-
ried couples met through
family or friends.
Youth and intermarriage
are strongly linked in the
demography of contemporary
American Jews, as the New
Jersey data illustrates. Fewer
than one-tenth of the couples
who married before 1950 are
intermarried, but almost half
of the couples who married
since 1980 are intermarried.
Furthermore, unmarried per-
sons ages 18 through 44 were
more than three times as like-
ly as unmarried persons over
age 55 to say that marrying
a Jewish person was "not too
important" or "not at all im-
The study suggests that
contemporary American
Jews, as individuals and in
their communal activities,
would do well to become more
involved in the venerable art
of matchmaking. As the
Roman matron who harrass-
ed Rabbi Gamaliel dis-
covered, arranging marriages
is not an easy task. In-
dividuals who have tried are
often approached by angry ex-
friends after the initial
meeting: "Is that the kind of
person you thought I would
like? Is that what you think of
Similarly, Jewish com-
munities in many areas of the
country have tried to set up
free or -nominally-priced
dating services. They are
sometimes discouraged by
their success rate. When
evaluation time comes round,
allocations committees in
some communities have look-
ed at the total rate of mar-
riages arising from such pro-
grams and have cut off funds.
Ironically, there have even
been cases of communities
who have cut back funding on
programs for singles precise-

ly because the programs have
been very successful, reason-
ing that the singles involved
should support the programs
through dues and program
fees. It is possible that the end
result of such policies may be
to drive away singles who are
only marginally interested in
finding Jewish mates.

Unlike the Roman matron,
however, we cannot afford to
fling this task beck into the
divine realm. By every
measurable standard, the
American Jewish community
has much to gain by pro-
moting and facilitating
meetings and marriages be-
tween Jews. Many converts
become loyal members of the
Jewish people, and the
American Jewish community
needs creative outreach to in-
termmarried couples.
However, the fact remains
that the great majority of
non-Jews married to Jews do
not convert. In unconverted
intermarried households,
rates of Jewish affiliation,
ritual observance, involve-
ment with Israel, and Jewish
education for children are
dramatically lower than in in-
married households.
Traditionally, helping
Jewish cc to find each
other was considered one of
the most aluable "mitzvot".
Although our world has
changed beyond recognition
from the "shetl" where Yentel
the matchmaker plied her
trade, Jewish introductions
have emerged as a crucial
priority in modern life.
Nothing can substitute for
the immediacy and flexibility
of the personal introduction.
Each of us meets single
Jewish men and women who
might well enjoy each other's
company. Often we hesitate to
suggest an introduction,
sometimes because we want
to avoid the unpleasantness
of a failed attempt. and some-
times because we are simply
embarrassed. Mistakenly we
think of arranged dates as
We should remember,
however, that recent scientific
data show us that meeting
through family and friends is
still the single most effective
way for Jews to meet other
If God isn't embarrassed,
why should we be, to say the
magic words: "Have I got a
man for you?"

Cycle Tours
Are Scheduled

College Cycle Tours has
added two new tours for Sum-
mer: a 10-day Colorado
Rockies tour for adults and
students, and weekend tours
along Lake Michigan for
adults and families. The tour
dates and prices are: Colorado
Rockies: Adults, August
15-24, $545; Students, August
2-11, $295; Lake Michigan
Weekend Tours: All persons,
8/26-28, 9/16-18, 9/30-10/2,


The Colorado tours include

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