After World War II, Jews everywhere were reeling from the Nazi slaughter of 6 million European Jews.Many of those who survived moved to the United States, which now is home to the second largest Jewish population in the world.Orthodox Jews follow religious laws most strictly – for example, eating a kosher diet and strictly observing the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) – and would be less likely to date Reform or Conservative Jews, who are more flexible about their level of religious practice.When I’ve dated Jewish men, sometimes there’s an immediate feeling of familiarity, even if we’ve just met.By Ellen Baskin Being Jewish in America means different things to different people in different places.Jewishness is often felt as an identification with an ethnic and cultural group as much as with a religious faith.
The close-knit sense of community that’s a major part of the Jewish culture is most clearly reflected within individual families.
There are many positive elements to the cultural stereotype of a Jewish family – warmth, lots and lots of love, unconditional support, and deep, intense family values (The food can be pretty terrific, too).
It can seem like an over-the-top free for all sometimes, and even when you grow up in the middle of a big, close Jewish family, like I did, it can take a lifetime to get used to.
Without doing any complicated math, it’s easy to understand why the Jewish community encourages dating and marrying within the faith or conversion of a prospective spouse to Judaism. These and other similar issues may come up when Jews date non-Jews, and it’s important to address them sooner rather than later down the relationship road.
When Jews date non-Jews, in many ways it can seem no different than any new relationship.
Is this something that’s going to be done separately from the person he or she is dating?