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At the time of The Pew Survey, less than one third of non-Orthodox Jewish males, and barely two-fifths of Jewish women between the ages of 25 and 39 were married.For those between the ages of 40 and 44, the marriage rate climbs, but does not exceed 68% for men and 58% for women.Clearly for anyone concerned about the continuity of the Jewish People, it is disheartening to learn that today’s younger generation is delaying family formation, and, for an increasing percentage, the traditional family model no longer exists.Overall, an analysis of the raw data culled during The Pew Survey indicates a fertility level of about 1.7 children for non-Orthodox Jews, well below the national replacement level in America of 2.1 children.Among non-Orthodox Jews, The Pew Survey found that there is a direct correlation between lower levels of interaction and engagement in traditional Jewish activities and a significant increase in the number of Jews who never get married as well as the rate of intermarriage.
What we know about the adult children of intermarried parents is even less heartening.The magnitude of the results of The Pew Survey, together with the indifferent response by the majority of Jewish activists in America was aptly captured in a seminal piece penned approximately a year after The Pew Survey was published by two of the most respected and most oft-cited Jewish sociologists in America – i.e.– Professor Jack Wertheimer, the former Provost of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Professor Steven M.The shrinkage is already visible, having resulted in a drop of nearly one-third in the cohort of non-Orthodox Jews under the age of 18 compared with the cohort between the ages of 40 and 58.
Orthodox Jews remain the only denomination which has a fertility level that significantly exceeds the national replacement level and it is evident from The Pew Survey that they are growing both in absolute and relative terms.
Cohen, a research Professor at Hebrew Union College as follows: “American Jews now stand on the precipice of a demographic cliff, and the choice before them is simple: either fall off, or turn around.