Assimilation – A new study revealed by the Knesset Information and Research Center shows high rates of intermarriage among Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
During the past 50 years the rate of intermarriage among Diaspora Jews increased by over 200%, the study suggests, pointing to a weak Jewish identity as one of the main factors.
The findings, deduced from a study conducted by the center two years ago, were presented Monday during a hearing of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, headed by its new Chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud).
"The fear of assimilation of Diaspora Jews is a strategic threat for the continued existence of Israel," Danon said.
One of the study's most surprising findings shows that intermarriage rates among religious and secular families are almost identical.
While in the United States 55% of all Jews married non-Jewish partners, intermarriage rates in Australia, Canada and Turkey fluctuate between 25%-30%.
An intermarriage rate of 35%-45% was recorded among the Jewish Diaspora in France, Britain and most of Latin America.
The study revealed much higher figures in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where 65% of Jews exchanged nuptials with non Jews, while Russia came out on top of the list with a 75% rate of intermarriage.
Mexico, on the other hand, recorded the lowest level of intermarriage, with only 15% of Jews marrying outside of their faith.
The committee hearing was attended by representatives of the Chief Rabbinate, members of the Reform and Conservative Judaism movements, as well as representatives from Jewish youth movements, The American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and the Zionist Organization.
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