Jewish Journal

Unintended Intermarriage between Jews?

by Pini Herman

December 6, 2011 | 5:29 pm

Interesting reading: http://www.jewlicious.com/2011/02/the-unofficial-guide-to-sex-on-birthright-israel/

In the arcane world of inter-Jewish relations we step back about a hundred years when marriage between an Ashkenazi Jew and a Sephardic Jew was termed, not always jokingly, an intermarriage. It seems that Israeli Jewish and American Jewish marriages may now be looked at in the same way.

An Israeli government ministry, the Ministry of Absorption, decided that Israel was losing too many of its young to the charms of American Jews and leaving Israel, so it embarked on a spirited publicity campaign to counter the phenomenon.  This week an embarrassed Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Natanyahu stepped in and axed the widely criticized campaign.

Marriage between Israelis and American citizens has increasingly accounted for about half of US Permanent Resident Alien Visas, or green cards, obtained by Israeli-born persons immigrating to the U.S.  A decade ago majority of Israelis getting green cards received them through employment based visa preferences. Recently, in 2010 family preference visas became the larger category

The increase in family preference visas to the U.S. could be that the U.S. born children of Israelis are returning to the US with their own Israeli-born wives and children or this could be an unintended outcome of Taglit Birthright where hundreds of thousands of young marriageable Jewish adults visit Israel….and things happen. 

This gives another dimension to young American Jews learning to love Israel.

Pini Herman is immediate past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com

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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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