Judaism’s third rail
Letter to the EditorNontraditional movements should change view on intermarriage

Judaism’s third rail

Unless the institutions of nontraditional movements stop pretending intermarriage is not an issue and change their practices, the trend will continue.

(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

During the “Where Do We Go from Here?” meeting last month, Rabbi Danny Schiff brought up the third rail of most Jewish communities, intermarriage (“Consensus lacking at South Hills forum on Jewish future,” June 8). He also mentioned that the Reform and Conservative movements will not exist by the next century.

The rabbi noted that the only group that is growing are the Orthodox. When asked why he did not speak of the Orthodox and why they are growing, he spoke around the question.

The statistics show that inmarried families are likely to raise Jewish children who are engaged in Judaism with an 86 percent success rate. Intermarried families only have a 10 percent success rate. Among the Orthodox, the rate of intermarriage is very low.

The Orthodox believe traditional Jewish education is important, and make it a priority. When a child has to have a choice between a secular activity and Jewish learning, the choice is made clear that studies are more important. Second of all, the Orthodox stress the importance of marriage and that intermarriage is not acceptable.

The nontraditional movements condone intermarriage, ensuring their long-term decline. The Community study and its statistics bears this out. Unless these institutions stop pretending this is not an issue and change their practices, the trend will continue.

Andrew Neft
Upper St. Clair

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