Like me, Lianne was once a more observant Jew, having become more religious in her twenties, attracted to family-style Sabbath dinners and holidays.And like me, Lianne believed modern orthodox Jewish men would be more likely to want to marry and have children, which is what she and I both yearned for.The report states that there is a steep decline in marriage rates, with just over half (51%) of Jews indicating they are married, down from 60 percent cited by the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS).And of those Jews who are married, 44 percent are married to non-Jews.Pew Research reports that never married Jewish women are mothers to only 0.2 children on average by ages 40 to 59.
A few years ago, I expected to marry a yarmulke-wearing Sabbath observer.
"Among married Jewish women, 47 percent are married to a non-Jewish spouse.
Among married Jewish men, 41 percent are married to a non-Jewish spouse." While only a slight difference, Jewish women are more likely to marry non-Jewish men than Jewish men are likely to marry non-Jewish women and that raises the question as to why. While a quarter of American Jews have never married, Liga Plaveniece added that "of single, never married Jews, 53 percent are men and 47 percent are women." So, if there are more single Jewish men (perhaps a surprise to single female Jewish readers who lament a lack of available Jewish men), then why are nearly half of Jewish women intermarrying?
Perhaps Jewish men are less interested in marriage overall? But what is does report is that "American Jews overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Jewish and have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people." Ninety-four percent of American Jews, of all denominations, regardless of martial status, and equally among genders, believe this. our production of Jewish children, is lower than the national birthrate (2.2) at 1.9.
But interestingly, among Jews married to Jews, the birth rate is 2.8, much higher than the national birth rate.