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Disagrees With Wertheimer
Tue, 10/08/2013 - 20:00

As a Conservative Jew and a mohel certified by the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Rabbinical Assembly, in practice for more than 25 years, I was somewhat dismayed at the content of Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Not Too Late To Push In-Marriage?” (Sept. 13). While Professor [Jack] Wertheimer has done extensive work in gathering data on Jewish demographics, I am afraid that he “chooses and picks” his data to suit his points of view. I disagree that intermarried families have lower chances of raising committed Jews, and I believe my statistics and follow-ups prove him wrong.

When dealing with an interfaith couple and their request for a brit milah, I ask if the child will be raised in the Jewish faith. In only three instances over more than 25 years did I get the response, “we wish to have both Jewish and Christian rituals for our newborn son.” (In such cases I advise having a “medical” circumcision, with an appropriate ritual thereafter if the child will be raised as a Jew.)

I think Professor Wertheimer would do the Jewish community and himself a favor to promote and find ways of welcoming and implementing positive programs for the intermarried instead of his academic research and statistical surveys, which I believe are seriously flawed.


Jewish Theological Seminary, Professor Jack Wertheimer, Rabbinical Assembly

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Dear Abraham Benyunes,
With all respect, you are absolutely dead simply wrong. All the sociological data which has come out has shown that intermarried families have a lower chance of raising committed Jews, not only that but stat.s show that over 80% of these children of the intermarried marry a non-Jew and that less than 10% of the grandchildren of intermarried couples are Jewish. Just take the time to read the facts. See A Tale of Two Jewries by Steven M Cohen. ttp://

Surely, the author can't be serious in his suggestion that statements made by parents to a mohel bear any relation to what the child's religious affiliation will be 25 years later.