Reluctance to Express Traditional Views on Marriage Is Costing Jewish Lineage

Research shows only 50% of non-Orthodox American Jews are married by their early 30s, a statistic that raises concern for The Forward’s editor-in-chief.

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Judging by the amount of money spent, organizations created, and words expressed, you would think that the most serious problem facing the American Jewish community is the waning attachment to Israel among young adults. But that’s not what keeps me up at night.

What haunts me and the many parents I know who have children in their twenties and thirties is whether they will marry and, if so, whether they will marry Jews.

Sociologist Steven M. Cohen told me: “Based upon a review of recent Jewish population studies, it appears that the age at which about 50% of non-Orthodox Jews are married is about 31 for women and about 34 for men.”

Think about this. Most Jews in America are not Orthodox. These numbers suggest that half of those women over 31 and half of the men over 34 are not even married. And of those who do marry, between one-third and one-half are wed to non-Jews, depending on the survey… As a result, the non-Orthodox birthrate in America is far below replacement level.

Read more at the Forward.

Illustration: A Jewish wedding.Credit: Dreamstime