There are 85,000 intermarried couples in Israel with one Jewish spouse, according to data recently published by the Interior Ministry’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Yisrael Hayom reported on Monday morning.
According to the report, it is the first time in years that official data on the number of intermarried couples in Israel has been published. The report indicates the extent of assimilation in the world’s only Jewish state, a phenomenon that experts have been warning about in recent years.
According to the data, there is a total of 1.345 million couples in Israel with at least one Jewish spouse, out of which 1.260 million are couples with two Jewish spouses, and 85,000 are couples with one non-Jewish spouse – 6.3% of marriages with at least one Jewish spouse. A majority of mixed marriages -almost 53,000 – are comprised of Jewish men married to non-Jewish women (versus 32,000 mixed marriages with Jewish women married to non-Jewish men), which means of course that the children are not Jewish.
The report also shows that the majority of Israeli non-Jews married to Jews do not identify with any religion, meaning that most of them are from the former Soviet Union.
The phenomenon of Jews marrying Arabs is rare but of those who do, more Jewish women than Jewish men marry Arabs.
“The phenomenon of mixed marriages isn’t only a problem for Diaspora Jews, it’s a problem for Israeli Jews as well,” Dr. Netanel Fisher, head of the government policy department at the Academic Center for Law and Science, who requested the data, told Yisrael Hayom.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)