Jewish identification in intermarriage: Does a spouse's religion (Catholic vs. Protestant) matter?

Uzi Rebhun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article is concerned with whether Jewish intermarriage in the US affects the religioethnic identification of the Jewish partner differently if the spouse is Catholic as compared to Protestant. Three working hypotheses are developed which take into consideration differences between Catholicism and Protestantism in the importance of religious practices and social interaction, and theological positions towards interfaith marriage. Multivariate analyses of data from the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey show that while both Jewish-Catholic and Jewish-Protestant marriages have a statistically significant negative effect on Jewish identification, it is more pronounced among the former. This is consistent along various expressions of Jewish identification. Likewise, Jews married to Catholics are more exposed to Christian rituals and non-Jewish social circles than Jews with Protestant spouses. The implications of these results are discussed in regard to the Jewish individual in intermarriage, to the Jewish group, as well as to the complexity of religious identification in America today.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-88
Number of pages18
JournalSociology of Religion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


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