By Ted Belman
MOSAIC has been publishing a number of articles dealing with the ramifications of the PEW Study on American Jewry. I published one of them namely, The (Un)Importance of Jewish Difference
And now, they have published another. The Ever-Renewing People, Jewish life in America is actually flourishing, thanks in part to the energy of children of intermarriage. In it they show that the participation in Jewish things by Jewish youth are growing exponentially. But the obvious rebuttal is what’s Jewish about it as they are counting non Jewish kids or Jewish kids whose father is Christian.
Let us accept the a significant number of children of mixed marriages are choosing to identify Jewishly, what are we to make of it.
Soon surveys will disclose how many Jews are halachically Jewish by orthodox standards and how many aren’t . Increasingly the non kosher children are growing in percentage terms.
In Israel, immigrants need not be halachic Jews. They just have to be Jewish according to the Law of Return. And many of the children making aliya qualify only for the lesser requirement.
The Jewish purists will totally ignore their existence. This would be a mistake.
I personally don’t care whether a Jew is halachically a Jew. Its enough that he chooses to identify with the Jewish people and share our fate.