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S.; in contemporary Europe and Japan, it has reached proportions that threaten catastrophe.Still, Jewish women in the United States are significantly less fertile than their white, Gentile counterparts.On the basis of the consensus figure of 5.5 million, the Jewish population of the United States has, at best, remained static for the past 50 years, despite the influx during that same period of at least a half-million Jewish immigrants. Entitled ewish Distinctiveness in America: A Statistical Portrait, it marshals considerable evidence for the relatively advanced age of the American Jewish population.
What about the very common situation of a Gentile not married to but living in the same household with a Jew?What is not permissible in polite Jewish company is an allusion to the decisions people make about their own family lives, or to the impact of those decisions on the ability of the Jewish community to sustain itself.It is not as if the contours of today's demographic crisis are hidden from view.In the aggregate, said the optimists, it would take fewer intermarried Jews producing children identifying themselves as Jews to result in a net gain. Not only does the birth rate among intermarried Jews tend to be even lower than among in-married ones, but nearly three-quarters of children raised in intermarried families go on to marry non-Jews themselves, and only 4 percent of these raise their own children as Jews.
As for their links with Jewish life, only a minority of children raised by dual-religion parents identify themselves with Judaism or with the institutions of the Jewish community.For one thing, as the 2000-01 NJPS confirms, Jews marry later than other Americans, with the greatest disparities occurring in the age group between twenty-five and thirty-four.