Posts Tagged: Intermarriage Results 12
Lauren Michele Jackson’s excellent Buzzfeed story, “Why A New Mixed Race Generation Will Not Solve Racism,” makes the following case: “[C]ontrary to popular narratives, interracial heterosexual relationships and their result, multiracial children, are not the antithesis of white supremacy, but can be easily co-opted as the glittery mask behind which racism and antiblackness continue to thrive.” Jackson points both to interracial love stories promoted as anti-racist triumph, and to the preference, in advertising, for light-skinned or ethnically ambiguous people of color only.
I just read with interest that Hebrew College, in Massachusetts, has introduced “the first-ever graduate school of Jewish Education to establish a specialization in our Master’s Degree program and a standalone graduate certificate in Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement.” IFJE’s director is Keren McGinity, who also — full if not especially scandalous disclosure — edited an intermarriage-themed issue of the Journal of Jewish Identities that my own research appeared in. The program at Hebrew College is now taking applications.
In a moving essay for Catapult, Amy Beth Wright describes how her marriage to a non-Jewish man led some of her relatives to cut her out of their lives:
Emily Shire has an essay up at the Daily Beast whose headline reads, “How Does A Single Jew Find a Nice Goy To Date?” A catchy headline for sure, but one whose answer is, in effect, ‘By leaving the house.’ Or not even, in the age of apps. Unlike early 19th century France, when Napoleon very much wanted Jews to marry out, but there was little reason to think non-Jews were prepared to invite Jews into their families, in 21st century America, it’s easier, all things equal, for a (secular) Jew to marry out than in.
The idea that one must marry a Jew to be an effective Jewish leader, as argued in Jane Eisner’s recent editorial “Why We Shouldn’t Accept Rabbis Who Marry Non-Jews,” is outdated and counter productive to 21st century Judaism. Not only do intermarried Jewish leaders who already work in the Jewish community debunk stereotypes about Jews who fall in love with a “stranger,” they are exemplars for how to, in Eisner’s words, “offer bold ideas to make Judaism more accessible and welcoming, to strengthen commitment among those born Jews and encourage others to join.” Celebrating rabbis who intermarry is the way to walk the talk.