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Mixed Marriage and Post-Soviet Aliyah

ByMark Tolts

This chapter analyzes the incidence of mixed marriage in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and the role of the Jewish marriage market's demographic peculiarities in the spread of mixed marriage. It examines the relatively high proportion of non-Jews in the aliyah movement from the FSU as a consequence of mixed marriage. Ethnically mixed marriages of all types were widespread in the FSU, whose total population hosted many relatively small and widely dispersed ethnic groups. The offspring of mixed marriages could choose the ethnicity of one or the other parent, and most of these preferred the ethnicity of the non-Jewish parent. For the first time in the history of migration to Israel, during the period of post-Soviet aliyah, non-Jewish relatives of Jews, including the offspring of mixed marriages and their spouses, became a very sizeable segment of the immigrant population.