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(Israel has the largest.) For a number of reasons – some practical, others emotional – there was a lot of pressure in the years that followed for Jewish children to only date and marry other Jews.At the same time, after years of discrimination, Jews were finally being included in mainstream American life, which has led to a more blended population … When I was growing up in Queens, one of the suburban boroughs of New York City, the neighborhood was very ethnic and predominantly Jewish.
Read on for an inside perspective on Jewish dating in America.
Without doing any complicated math, it’s easy to understand why the Jewish community encourages dating and marrying within the faith or conversion of a prospective spouse to Judaism. These and other similar issues may come up when Jews date non-Jews, and it’s important to address them sooner rather than later down the relationship road.
When Jews date non-Jews, in many ways it can seem no different than any new relationship.
There are many positive elements to the cultural stereotype of a Jewish family – warmth, lots and lots of love, unconditional support, and deep, intense family values (The food can be pretty terrific, too).
It can seem like an over-the-top free for all sometimes, and even when you grow up in the middle of a big, close Jewish family, like I did, it can take a lifetime to get used to.
Orthodox Jews follow religious laws most strictly – for example, eating a kosher diet and strictly observing the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) – and would be less likely to date Reform or Conservative Jews, who are more flexible about their level of religious practice.