What We Don’t Know About Jewish Views On Dating, And More
05/13/2010 - 15:45
Gary Rosenblatt

One of the most enlightening and disturbing articles on Jewish life that I’ve read in awhile appears in the Spring issue of Lilith, the Jewish feminist magazine, in which Rabbi Susan Schnur interviews her daughter and two other 20-something young women (rabbis’ daughters, each, and observant, to varying degrees). Each attends or recently graduated from liberal colleges.

Asked how they thought their Jewish campus experience would “feel most foreign” to Rabbi Schnur, they had much to say, and their frank responses are sure to be the topic of sermons from those preaching the dangers of our increasingly open society.

The young women said it is considered “racist, or otherwise discriminatory, for a Jew to want to date or marry only other Jews.” They called exclusively Jewish dating “offensive” and “outdated.” And they agreed that the notion of dating a Jew just because he is Jewish is “antiquated.”

They noted that few Jewish students on campus have two Jewish parents, and that the level of Jewish illiteracy among Jews is “extremely high.”
Those nuggets are just for starters. The young women go on to say that religion in general is seen on liberal campuses as “just bad,” and that Jews don’t see themselves as a minority or view society as divided between Christians and Jews.

These young women feel they don’t need a Jewish partner to live a complete Jewish life, and they aren’t looking for Judaism “to prescribe what they should do.

“A shul, a rabbi, those don’t seem so important,” one of the young women said. “We are the text, the text comes from within.”

I admire the self-confidence in one’s Jewishness expressed here, as well as the candor. But before drawing conclusions about a generation based on three samples, I’d love to hear from other 20-somethings about their views on the subject.

Comments

Very, very sad. It comes as no surprise to me, as Judaism is eroded from within more and more. We are our own worst enemy, and are living the days of Hellenization, the Pittsburgh Platform, and the Haskalah all over again.
The real question is why are our Jewish kids not marrying Jewish kids. I am told we have too many Jewish princesses and too many mama 's boys who want to be treated like a king. I am not saying this, my congregant's kids are. Do not kill the messenger. The vast majority of orthodox Jews marry orthodox Jews.Please do not kill the messenger for relating this . I know this is controversial. By the way, I know of non Jews in a marriage that bring their kids to synagogue while the Jewish half stays home. or goes golfing. Watch the millionaire matchmaker on T.V. if you really want to vomit. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
This perspective reinforces one of the great benefits of Jewish Day School Education. Over the past decades all studies of day school graduates shows an In marriage rate of over 95% and part of the reason for that success is that day school graduates consider marrying another Jew to be natural and something that they would never consider to be outside of their norm or expectation.....the perspective that somehow seeking a mate within your own religion is something to be looked down upon on college campus is a troubling development.... it will reinforce the message from religious colleges who claim that this is one area that is fraught with danger if a student attends a secular college....this will certainly support their argument....
Pretty shocking - and coming from "Rabbis" daughters. I can probably guess which "branch" of Judaism is involved here. What ever happened to the good old days where you went to college to get an education - not an indoctrination in everything that is treif? College is becoming the breeding ground for Jewish Protestants. Generations from now these people will be a completely separate religion
The comments by the three young women in the Lilith piece also startled me - and prompted me to write my own take about marrying someone Jewish. I wrote a piece, Jewish woman's reasons for marrying a Jew, on my blog at http://www.lindakwertheimer.com/?p=122 I'm far beyond 20-something, but here's a taste of what I wrote in explaining why as Jew, I wanted to marry a Jew: * Marry a Jew, and no debate ensues about the religion of offspring. * Many Jews share unspoken sentiments, including what it is like to be Jewish at Christmastime in America. * Inter-faith couples are becoming more and more embraced, but it remains easier to become a part of a larger Jewish community when both spouses are Jewish. * Spouses can share a faith that is much more than a religion. Judaism has its own culture, music, food, and complex, rich history. * We can together enjoy the experience as we each learn more about our faith and draw closer to it.
These women sound very shallow and even dumb. In fact, they don't sound Jewish at all!

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