A New Demographic Pioneer Research of the American Jewery - 21st Century

Many parents, like ourselves thought that intermarriage could never happen to their children. Unfortunately, it happens. Intermarriage rates are dramatically higher in cities where religious identification is weaker.

The non-religious factors that used to keep the Jews together such as massive immigration of Soviet Jews, the Arab Israeli conflicts, the exodus of the Iranian Jews and anti-Semitism are less of an issue today. It is therefore imperative now more than ever to focus a supreme emphasis on our Jewish education in order to salvage an element of unity.

If the present trend continues, only a small fraction of today's Jewish community will still exist in a few generations.

Presently the divorce rate for American Jews is over 50%, one of every two marriages fail.

There are 5.5 million Jews in America today. Of these only 1.1 million classify themselves as having been born Jewish; 42% are Reform, 38% Conservative, 5% are "just" Jewish, 1% Reconstructionist, 6% other and 7% are Orthodox.

It is a historical fact that the original Judaism was of Orthodoxy and dates back to the time of Moses 3,500 years ago. The Reform movement started in Germany not more than 250 years ago and was then followed by the Conservative movement.

Lack of real Jewish education is causing 700 to 800 Jews to convert daily to other religions. Most members of today's cults are comprised of ex-Jews.

Each year, over 600 different missionary groups spend in excess of $200 million worldwide toward converting Jews. It is estimated that, in the past 25 years, more than 500,000 Jews have succumbed to their efforts.

The Jewish people should always remember that at Mount Sinai G-d directly spoke to 600,000 adult Jews and declared Moses as the prophet and told us to follow the Torah and no other. This was the only time ever in world history that G-d spoke directly to the public.

Within four generations there will be almost no trace of those who are currently being raised in homes where Judaism is not practiced or have no Jewish education.

To ensure that your grandchildren will remain Jewish, we must help build Jewish schools. The Torah requires us to give at least 10% of our annual income for Jewish charities. The Torah further states that the mitzvah of donating funds to build schools takes priority over buying a Sefer Torah to be donated to a synagogue.

U.S. and Canadian tax laws entitle any contributor to a deduction as follows:

The aforementioned information was extracted by the Menorah Foundation from the North American Jewish Data Bank, the National Jewish Population Survey (1995), the 1991 New York Jewish Population Study, the Research on Jewish Population sponsored by Brandeis University, Yeshiva University, Harvard University, the Council of Jewish Federations and Torah Umesorah (representing 560 Hebrew day schools in North America), Jews for Judaism, A. Gordon and R. Horowitz Independent Study (1994).

We hope that the following facts and statistics will enlighten the Jewish community as to what is happening to our children and grandchildren today.

The lack of proper Jewish education is the most significant cause of dispersion into secularization and assimilation in America today.

Intermarriage is destroying our Jewish foundation and the family unit.

The control of many major U.S. corporations founded by Jews of 50 years ago are now in the hands of grandchildren who are no longer Jewish, due to intermarriage.

Not so long ago, Jewish parents like many of us thought that they would have Jewish grandchildren but now many suffer having a non-Jew for grandchildren.

The intermarriage rate in America from 1960 to 1990 has increased by more than 500%.

The present intermarriage rate among the secular Jewish population is 72%, among the Reform 53%, the Conservative is 37%, and among Orthodox Jews 3%.

The following chart expresses the rate of decrease in contrast to the rate of increase of Jewish identity each according to their respective groups within 4 generations:

1st Generation:
Secular 100
Reform 100
Conservative 100
Centrist Orthodox 100
Hasidic/Yeshiva Orthodox 100

2nd Generation:
Secular 36
Reform 51
Conservative 62
Centrist Orthodox 151
Hasidic/Yeshiva Orthodox 295

3rd Generation:
Secular 13
Reform 26
Conservative 38
Centrist Orthodox 228
Hasidic/Yeshiva Orthodox 874

4th Generation:
Secular 5
Reform 13
Conservative 24
Centrist Orthodox 346
Hasidic/Yeshiva Orthodox 2,588

Intermarriage among Conservative Jews alone has tripled since 1960 and increasing.

Strong commitment to real Jewish education and observance leads to less intermarriage and assimilation. Those Jews (observant or otherwise) whose children attended Jewish day school have an intermarriage rate of no greater than 2% depending on years of education as follows:

Today over 1/3 of the U.S. Jewish population are intermarried. Only one in ten children in an intermarried family will marry a Jew. In households where neither parent received formal Jewish education, only one in seven children are being raised as Jewish.

Today there are more children under age 4 in mixed- marriage households than children in households where both parents are Jewish.

It is clear that almost all the children of intermarried couples eventually will leave the Jewish faith.

Return to News ArchivesBack to Top