Search results

Your search found 5 items
Sort: Relevance | Topics | Title | Author | Publication Year
Home  / Search Results
Date: 2014
Abstract: Whereas there is already quite a significant bibliography focusing on the experiences of intermarried couples in Europe, less attention has been paid to their children. This study, along with parallel studies in Germany and France, suggest that the road to "assimilation" is not as linear and inevitable as it was thought to be; that the children of mixed couples never quite disconnect from Judaism, much on the contrary, Judaism is widely recognized to be an element of their identity. A second important finding is the capital role that the families and the Jewish institutions play in the formation of a positive Jewish identity among the children of intermarriage. Those who grow up in a Jewish household or who have been affiliated with Jewish institutions tend to develop stronger Jewish identities. Last but not least, far from being a "passive" population, most of the interviewees that want to be connected to Judaism show a very active attitude towards the search for a suitable Jewish environment, one that can assure them both legitimacy and acceptance.

Intermarriage within the Dutch Jewish community is on the rise. The numbers speak for themselves: out of the 52,000 Jews residing in the Netherlands 25% just have a Jewish mother and 30% a Jewish father. 50 in-depth interviews were conducted with individuals between the ages of 20 and 40 who have one Jewish parent and have different levels of community involvement. All respondents identify with Judaism in some way. How people connect to Judaism varies from person to person. Most people feel Jewish although their level of Judaism depends on their personal situation. There is a small group that feels Jewish in every situation and another group that only has a minimal connection to Judaism (mostly holding on to memories of the Shoah passed on by their parents and grandparents). Many individuals feel (strongly) connected to Judaism but do not practice Judaism in their daily lives.
Author(s): Bernstein, Julia
Date: 2014
Abstract: Whereas there is already quite a significant bibliography focusing on the experiences of intermarried couples in Europe, less attention has been paid to their children. This study, along with parallel studies in France and the Netherlands, suggest that the road to "assimilation" is not as linear and inevitable as it was thought to be; that the children of mixed couples never quite disconnect from Judaism, much on the contrary, Judaism is widely recognized to be an element of their identity. A second important finding is the capital role that the families and the Jewish institutions play in the formation of a positive Jewish identity among the children of intermarriage. Those who grow up in a Jewish household or who have been affiliated with Jewish institutions tend to develop stronger Jewish identities. Last but not least, far from being a "passive" population, most of the interviewees that want to be connected to Judaism show a very active attitude towards the search for a suitable Jewish environment, one that can assure them both legitimacy and acceptance.

For the purpose of this study, 45 individuals from various cities and towns in Germany were interviewed. 26 of the interviewees had Jewish forebears on their mother's side and 19 on their father's side. 23 had migrated out of which 21 came from the former Soviet Union. Among participants born in Germany, German history represents a unique context for mixed Christian-German/Jewish-German couples. On one hand, many participants found it difficult to reconcile what they perceive as conflicting German and Jewish narratives, often leading to conflicts of loyalty. Moreover, some relate to experiences of antisemitism coming from within their extended families. Also, German as a language contains words heavily loaded with Nazi significance. On the other side, the non-Jewish German parents of the interviewees are generally described as sensitive, making real efforts to support the Jewish parents by celebrating Jewish holidays, visiting Israel, learning Hebrew, playing a part in the community, and demonstrating initiative, for instance, by organizing trips to Israel or Jewish events, or reading books about the conflict in the Middle East.