I grew up with an epic clash of narratives, as did so many of my Jewish-American peers. On the one hand, we were told that everyone is equal, and therefore we should judge people on their actions and individual character, not based on their ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status.
Yet at the same time, I was told to only marry Jewish.
Last week, sociologist Bruce Phillips argued in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal’s “Demographic Duo” blog that intermarriage actually declined between 1990 and 2000, the period in which the Jewish establishment was in the midst of a continuity panic attack.
According to Phillips, the National Jewish Population Surveys of 2000 and 1990 measured intermarriage in a “problematic” manner inconsistent with the way “the larger field of demography” measures interracial (and presumably inter-ethnic?) marriage. This, he says, made for misleadingly high intermarriage stats.