Meanwhile, the cultural memory of the Holocaust and the racialized persecution of the Jews still looms large, making the prospect of a dwindling population particularly sensitive.
The lesson, then, that many Jewish kids absorb at an early age is that their heritage comes with responsibilities—especially when it comes to getting married and having kids.
Debates about intermarriage, or marriage outside of the faith, are common in the Jewish community, but her question still struck me as remarkable.
Here were four twentysomething women who hardly knew each other, already talking about the eventuality of marriage and apparently radical possibility that we would ever commit our lives to someone unlike us.
The difference was stark: Those who actually went on Birthright were 45 percent more likely to marry someone Jewish.
This “is some kind of reflection of the experience in Israel, although there is no preaching during the ten days,” said Gidi Mark, the International CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel.
If you want to persuade kids to marry other Jews, don’t be too pushy.