For example, the survey shows that the offspring of intermarriages – Jewish adults who have only one parent that is jewish are much more likely than the offspring of two Jewish parents to describe themselves, religiously, as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular. In that sense, intermarriage may be seen as weakening the religious identity of Jews in America.
Yet the survey also suggests that a percentage that is rising of children of intermarriages are Jewish in adulthood. Among Americans age 65 and older who say they had one parent that is jewish 25% are Jewish today. By contrast, among adults under 30 with one parent that is jewish 59% are Jewish today. In this sense, intermarriage may be transmitting identity that is jewish a growing number of Americans.
First, intermarriage is practically nonexistent among Orthodox Jews; 98% of the married Orthodox Jews in the survey have a spouse that is jewish. But among all other married Jews, only half say they have a spouse that is jewish.
In addition, intermarriage rates appear to have risen substantially in recent decades, though they have been relatively stable since the mid-1990s. Looking just at non-Orthodox Jews who have gotten married since 2000, 28% have a spouse that is jewish fully 72% are intermarried.
Also, intermarriage is more common among Jewish respondents who are themselves the young children of intermarriage. Among married Jews who report that only one of their parents was Jewish, just 17% are married to a spouse that is jewish. By contrast, among married Jews who say both of their parents were Jewish, 63% twoo profile search have a Jewish spouse.
Among Jews, the adult offspring of intermarriages are also much more likely than people with two parents that are jewish describe themselves religiously as atheist, agnostic or just “nothing in particular.” This is the case among all recent generations of U.S. Jews.
For example, among Jewish Baby Boomers who had two parents that are jewish 88% say their religion is Jewish; hence, we categorize them as “Jews by religion.” But among Baby Boomers who had one Jewish parent, 53% describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or having no particular religion, even they consider themselves Jewish or partially Jewish aside from religion; they are categorized as “Jews of no religion” in the table though they also say. Far fewer Jewish Baby Boomers who had two parents that are jewish12%) are Jews of no religion today.
A similar pattern is seen among Jewish Millennials: 51% of Millennials who have one Jewish parent are Jews of no religion, compared with just 15% of Millennials who had two Jewish parents.
Summing this up, it appears that the share of Jews of no religion is that is similar relatively low – among recent generations of Jews with two Jewish parents. It is much higher (and also fairly similar across generations) among self-identified Jews with only one Jewish parent.
But it is also important to bear in mind that the percentage of Jewish adults who are the offspring of intermarriages appears to be rising. Just 6% of Jews from the Silent Generation say they had one Jewish parent, compared with 18% of Jewish Baby Boomers, 24% of Generation X and nearly half (48%) of Jewish Millennials. The result is that there are far more Jews of no religion among younger generations of Jews than among previous generations, as shown in the survey report.
We see that the Jewish retention rate of people raised in intermarried families appears to be rising when we look at all adults who have just one Jewish parent – including both those who identify as Jewish and those who do not. That is, among all adults (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who say they had one Jewish parent and one non-Jewish parent, younger generations are more likely than older generations to be Jewish today.
For example, among U.S. adults ages 65 and older who had one Jewish parent, 25% are Jewish today (including 7% who are Jews by religion and 18% who are Jews of no religion), while 75% are not Jewish (meaning that they currently identify with a religion other than Judaism or that they do not consider themselves Jewish in any way, either by religion or otherwise). Among adults younger than 30 who have one Jewish parent, by contrast, 59% are Jewish today, including 29% who are Jews by religion and 30% who are Jews of no religion.
Finally, it has often been assumed that Jewish women are less inclined to intermarry than are Jewish men. A sociologist at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, has written: “In American popular culture, intermarriage has been the [domain] of Jewish males as Bruce Phillips. Starting with ‘Abbie’s Irish Rose’ and ‘The Jazz Singer’ following the turn of the century through ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ and the ‘Heartbreak Kid’ in the early 1970s to ‘Mad About You’ in the 1990s, the plot is about a Jewish married man in love with a stereotypical [non-Jewish woman].”
But our survey finds that Jewish women are slightly more likely to be intermarried than Jewish men. Among the married Jewish women surveyed, 47% say they have a spouse that is non-Jewish. Among the married Jewish men, 41% say they have a spouse that is non-Jewish.