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Jewish Journal

Jewish Identity of Intermarrieds in Chicago and their Kids Up

by Pini Herman

July 26, 2011 | 4:10 pm

Chicago has grown to 291,800 Jews, an increase of 8% since the last survey in 2000. Part of this growth may be attributed to children of intermarrieds who identify as Jewish.

Some of the other findings of the 2010 Metropolitan Chicago Jewish Community Study:

Intermarriage rates are moderate: using previous study definitions, 37% of married couples are currently intermarried, compared to a similarly computed 2000 30% intermarriage rate;

While intermarriage has increased since 2000, the proportion of children living with intermarried parents being raised unambiguously Jewish (“Jewish-only”) increased from 38% in 2000 to 49% in 2010.

Intermarried parents who are raising their children unambiguously Jewish are much more connected to the Jewish community than other intermarried families with children.

The Second City has released the findings of the which interviewed a sample of two thousand households and New York is in the midst of their 2011 Jewish Community Study currently surveying about six thousand Jewish households.  Both these cities have conducted regular Jewish population studies every ten years since the early 1980s.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles hasn’t had Jewish population survey in about fourteen years and is not slated to. We can only conjecture as to what is happening in Los Angeles.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Bruce Phillips is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He has conducted Jewish population...

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