Page 96 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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Mayer is perhaps the best-known Jewish sociologist who has
studied intermarriage and conversion. His statistical findings
are widely noted. The American Jewish Committee has pub­
lished a number of his important studies on the subject. These
include, among many others, a pamphlet co-written with Amy
Avgar titled
Conversion Among the Intermarried: Choosing to Become
(1987) and
Children of Intermarriage: A Study in Patterns
of Identification and Family Life
(1983). Mayer has also edited two
important books:
Jewish Intermarriage, Conversion, and Outreach
(New York: The Center for Jewish Studies, 1990), and
The Im­
peratives ofJewish Outreach: Responding to Intermarriage in the 1990s
and Beyond
(New York: Jewish Outreach Institute/Center for
Jewish Studies, 1991). Both books contain important contem­
porary articles. Although some of the articles are less scholarly
than others, the unevenness is overridden by the clarity of most
of the writing.
Susan Weidman Schneider, editor of
provides very solid
advice for those in an intermarriage. Her book,
The Challenge o f Living With Differences Between Christians and Jews
(New York: Free Press, 1989) is particularly useful in dealing
with practical emotional and family problems, and the chapter
on conversion is characteristically sensitive.
There are other books on intermarriage which briefly discuss
conversion but which are less important from a Jewish perspec­
tive. They include: Lee F. Gruzen’s
Raising your Jewish!Christian
(New York: Dodd, Mead, 1987); Judy Petsonk’s and Jim
The Intermarriage Handbook: A Guide fo r Jews and Chris­
(New York: Arbor House, 1988); Steven Carr Reuben’s
But How Will You Raise the Children?
(New York: Pocket Books,
1987); and Rabbi Roy A. Rosenberg’s, Father Peter Meehan’s,
and Rev. John Wade Payne’s
Happily Intermarried: Authoritative
Advice For a Joyous Jewish-Christian Marriage
(New York:
Macmillan, 1988).
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has recently
come out with a series of important brief materials on the sub­
ject. These include the excellent
Intermarriage: Our Grounds fo r
by Rabbi Alan Silverstein (1992), as well as
Intermarriage: Intervention
by Edward Edelstein, and
riage: What Can We Do? What Should We Do?
by United Syn­