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September 21, 1990 - Image 37

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-09-21

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When The Jewelry Store Closes

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intermarriage, looked at the
attitudes held by national
and regional board members
of B'nai B'rith Women, as
well as readers of the organ-
ization's magazine, Women's
World. The other survey
covered centrist Orthodox,
Conservative and Reform
pulpit rabbis and synagogue
presidents, plus senior Jew-
ish communal professional
and lay leaders and was con-
ducted for the Jewish
Outreach Institute in New
Dr. Mayer agreed that
both surveys essentially
queried strongly identified
Jews, meaning that less-
identified Jews are un-
doubtedly even more accep-
ting of intermarriage.
In an interview, Dr. Mayer
underscored the tolerance
for intermarriage registered
despite the diversity of the
two survey groups.
For example, 80 percent of
the 1,325 respondents to the
B'nai B'rith Women survey
said they would prefer to see
a 35-year-old daughter
marry a non-Jew rather
than stay single. Just over
60 percent opted for inter-
marriage over singlehood
when a son is involved.
Similarly, 74 percent of
the 2,179 respondents to the
Jewish Outreach Institute
study said they would not
advise a thirtysomething
Jewish man or women in
love with a non-Jew to forgo
the relationship to avoid
intermarriage. And 21 per-
cent said they would advise
that the marriage occur only
if the gentile partner con-
verts to Judaism. Just 5 per-
cent said they would advise
against the union alto-
Even centrist Orthodox
exhibited a surprising
degree of tolerance, Dr.
Mayer said. Halachah, or
traditional Jewish law, to
which Orthodox Jews are
committed, forbids conver-
sion to Judaism solely for
the sake of marriage.
Nevertheless, 58 percent of
the Orthodox respondents to
the Outreach Institute
survey said they would sup-
port a Jewish woman marry-
ing a non-Jewish man if the
groom agreed to convert. In
addition, 50 percent said the
wedding should occur if a

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