I don’t mean to be controversial or anything, but it seems to be hard my being the person that I am.
It’s just that this is a rhetoric that I have heard a lot:
“Jews are decreasing in number and it’s because of intermarriage!!”
“We must be inclusive and reach out to intermarried families, to educate them, and encourage them to raise their children Jewish.”
I am not into either. Sure, I prefer the latter one in tone, but essentially, the two are saying the same thing: The poor lost souls of intermarried families. If you ask me, the problem lies in the lack of education (in all meanings of the word) of the two-parented Jewish families. Intermarriage is simply a symptom of how little Jews today care about being Jewish and how much the status of Jews in America has rose.
In fact, from what I have seen, most intermarried families (particularly if they are American-non-American couples or interracial couples) are a lot more concerned for their kids’ Jewish identities than the vast majority of two-Jewish-parent families. The two-Jewish parented families often seem to take for granted their Jewishness and naively believe that their Jewishness gets genealogically passed down. These are the people who really need to be educated and reached out to.
And by the way, intermarriage does not necessarily drop the number of Jews since if one Jew marries a non-Jew and produces at least one child who is either Jewish or becomes Jewish, they have done their job.
Two-parented Jewish parents, on the other hand, have to have at least two kids and ensure that both turn out “Jewish” and decide to live as a Jew. Seems like a lot tougher proposition to me in today’s America. ;)