24 Pages

Intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles in South Africa

BySally Frankental, Stuart Rothgiesser

This chapter presents an historical background for the South African Jewish community. It reviews and compares several studies in order to identify and analyze intermarriage and conversion among South African Jews. From the South African context—and probably elsewhere too—there is evidence that many people contemplating out-marriage do not take such a step lightly. The South African Jewish community is a highly organized, relatively affluent community that numbered between 80,000 and 90,000 in 1998. Whatever the explanation, there is a clear rise in acceptance of and support for children's intermarriage amongst South African Jewish parents of unmarried children, which could allow for increased rates of intermarriage in the future. Ministers of various religions, but mainly of the Unitarian Church, have long been available to conduct mixed marriages of all kinds, including between Jews and Gentiles, and if the ministers were also marriage officers, and the couple of the same Population Group, the marriage was legal.