Intermarriage and Religious Upbringing with Inferences about Jewish Population Size Using Alternative Definitions of Judaism: Insights from the 2000 National Jewish Population Survey

Vivian Z. Klaff, University of Delaware
Frank Mott, Ohio State University
Diane Patel, Ohio State University

There is evidence that the Jewish population of the US is gradually declining in size; from a basic demographic perspective, current below replacement Jewish fertility and low net migration are in the short run contributing modestly to this possible phenomenon. The larger part of any current or short-term prospective decline is related to a high intermarriage rate combined with the reality that a large proportion of children in these relationships are not being raised Jewish. The concept of intermarriage is subjective and may be contingent on their personal view of the religion. The concept of "raising children Jewish" is equally ambiguous. In this research, we are using recent data from the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey to explore and quantify the potential impact of a range of intermarriage and child-raising definitions and milieus on how population Jewish population size may subjectively vary depending on one's definition of the religion.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Family, Households, Unions; Data, Methods, Study Design