Jewish and gentile dating

When any of them visit, our Shabbat talk inevitably turns to the people they are dating and how difficult it is to find a nice Jewish guy with whom to start a Jewish family and raise Jewish children.

One unpartnered friend, a rabbi, actually flew to Israel for in vitro fertilization and is now pregnant. "But since I'm getting older and haven't found a soul-mate yet, I'm going to start my own family." These Jewishly involved single women could have other options, but those aren't sanctioned by the Jewish community. It is time to remove the stigma from dating and marrying non-Jewish men.

A comprehensive 1997 survey by the American Jewish Committee found that the feeling of being Jewish is "very important" for 60 percent of women and 41 percent of men.

To denounce this idea fails to recognize an important, yet largely unstudied trend in Jewish life: That women, more than men, carry the spiritual spark of Judaism.

The word "intermarriage" has been the convenient scapegoat for many of the ills in American Jewish life.

Countless sermons have been wasted on this topic, and its specter has launched numerous fund-raising campaigns for institutions that usually have little clue on how to creatively adapt to a changing community.

First, they will be better able to participate in the commandment to "be fruitful and multiply," either by childbirth or adoption, in a more conventional family unit.

Second, it allows our community to grow in strength and numbers, thus creating a critical mass of people to sustain our institutions, traditions and values.

I’m Jewish, and the answer to your question depends on all the things you left out.

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