Q. In an open society there is bound to be some intermarriage. What can we do about it?
A. Intermarriage statistics in some countries give rise to alarm that the Jewish people will die out.
Judaism is not going to lie down and die, but we need to encourage people to feel certain that their destiny is within Judaism and the Jewish people.
It means more Jewish education, more Jewish experience, more enjoyment of living Jewishly, and more conscious choice of the Jewish option.
It’s never going to be easy. People can and do meet non-Jews and find things in common, and friendship leads to love and marriage. Sometimes the Jewish person feels alone and can’t find a Jewish partner.
It is unfair to the children of the marriage to say they can choose for themselves when they grow up whether they want Judaism or not; by then the circumstances of the environment will have taken over.
It is irrational for parents to scream at their child about not marrying out if the children have not had a home example of Jewish joy, relevance and reasonability.
Parents have to start when their children are babies to live by what I have called the Jewish Option.
The community doesn’t solve these problems by ignoring it or ostracising people or by opposing conversion.