Choosing Jewish: Conversations about Conversion

Choosing Jewish: Conversations about Conversion

Sylvia Barack Fishman

Intermarriage and conversion are both crucial topics of discussion in the struggle for Jewish survival in the United States. Nearly half of all American Jews intermarry and fewer than 20 percent of these marriages lead to conversion to Judaism. In light of the conviction that conversion is the best possible outcome of intermarriage, Sylvia Barack Fishman’s study addresses the following questions: how do interfaith couples decide if conversion will take place? When does the topic of religion come up and when is a conversion likely to occur? How important is the advocacy of the Jewish spouse and what factors determine the strength of the advocacy? How do converts feel about their decision? What attracts converts to Judaism? What can family members, friends, rabbis, and the Jewish community do to make converts feel welcome?

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