Intermarriage & Judaism: What to Consider Before Leaving the Fold

Answers appealing to guilt aren’t effective. One needs to know why it’s in his best interest to marry a Jew.

This video is based on a chapter in Shmooze: A Guide to Thought-Provoking Discussions on Essential Jewish Issues. Click here to order.

Comments (11)

(8) BRAD HOFFMAN, July 28, 2018 1:13 PM

Please think carefully about marrying out of the tribe.

My Mother an Orthodox Jew eloped with my Dad after WW ll. They met at a USO dance. My Dad was an atheist an unbeliever in G -d. My Mom was robbed of her faith and her heritage of being a Jew. My parents had three children and all grew up with a bad memory - their family. It was awful but far worse for my Mom who seldom had a nice day. I left at home at 15 but my two sisters were less fortunate, one committed suicide and the other one has serious mental problems. I know their problems originated from their home life. Please consider marrying out of your tribe very carefully,

(7) Rafael, July 23, 2018 3:48 PM

The Torah says god will insure the survival of the Jewish people . it is the Torah that the new Jews have little regard for . To refer to Torah as a barometer for anything is probably the biggest problem Jews have with Jews .

(6) Anonymous, July 23, 2018 1:00 PM

What if there's no one Jewish to marry?

I'm tired of being alone but in a place where there aren't any elligible Jewish women, I'm tired of not finding anyone to relate with. So...I don't date. And it's emotionally devastating to realize how many peoe have no mate even though the Creator of the Universe knows its not good for one to be alone

(5) Sara Metzger, July 17, 2018 7:10 PM

Thank you

Great video. thank you.

(4) Bracha Goetz, July 15, 2018 11:59 PM


And that's how I finally ended up not marrying my non-Jewish boyfriend! The documentation of this amazing discovery process was recently published in my new memoir, Searching for God in the Garbage.

(3) Anonymous, July 15, 2018 3:09 PM

Other reasons for not intermarrying

Excellent video. There are two other points that I would like to mention: 1) As my late father-in- law used to say: when you marry a person you are also marrying that person’s family. From a practical standpoint this can be a major source of conflict afterwards when the families come from very different religious backgrounds.I have seen this with friends, relatives and acquaintances that did intermarry. 2) The problem with how to raise the children. If the intermarried couple chooses one religion, one of the families will likely be disappointed. It is totally impractical to try to raise children in both religions and then expect them to later chose which one they will follow. I believe that that is an unfair burden.

IrisB, July 15, 2018 3:44 PM


Brother #1’s first two wives were Jewish, the Second was a Baal teshuva. Religion in that second marriage and how to raise the children Jewishly was the source of their greatest problems. Disaster. His 3rd wife is not a Jew and his child from that marriage is raised as a Catholic, but is exposed to her father’s Jewish traditions. This is a good marriage and there is true Shalom Bayit there.

Brother#2’s first wife was Jewish, but there was little common ground between them. Fortunately they never had children. Next wife was not Jewish and they lived happily ever after.

Brother #3’s first wife was Jewish, but he quickly realized the marriage was a mistake. Now happily married for almost 10 years to 2nd wife, not Jewish.

Me? I’ve been married to my Jewish husband for 45 years and raised our children in our faith. One of the reasons for our successful marriage? We never let religion to rule us. It was a cultural periphery.

Alan S,, July 15, 2018 8:59 PM

"Cultural periphery" -- the exact message of this video.

Mr. Anisfeld clearly suggests truly 'knowing' your religion as a way of life, and not only culturally as the most important reason not to intermarry.

IrisB.'s experiences, while valid, are anecdotal. Her experiences prove nothing more than Mr. Anisfeld's point: if your religion only signifies a cultural experience -- as it likely how IrisB's parents raised their children, then the norms of marital discord come into play, not really 'religious' issues. The fact that brother #1 married Jewish but could not agree on religious issues probably pales in comparison to the number of interfaith marriages that fail or have significant issues because of the added difficulty -- or better, the burden of religious differences of those whom religion is a way of life and not solely a cultural step stone.

Nancy, July 15, 2018 9:26 PM

This video got it right

Knowing one's religion as a way of life is the best way IMO to stem the tide of intermarriage.

(2) pnina bar-on, July 15, 2018 1:22 PM

very very well done. thanks


(1) suzan, July 15, 2018 7:11 AM

Regarding survival and G-d's promise to keep us eternal, i remember reading an article about the spiritual roots of Anti-Semitism. If we assimilate and discontinue our lineage, G-d brings Anti-Semitism to make sure we don't disappear, but stick together.
I agree though that we should have positive messages too. A couple should look at their values and goals and see if they are going in the same direction.


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