HBI Conference Transcripts


International Intermarriage Roundtable Conference (Dec. 17-18, 2003)

This conference brought together scholars from 10 different countries, all of whom study the intermarriage rates. Beginning with an overview by Hebrew University Professor Sergio DelaPergola, the dean of Jewish demography and concluding with an analytic framework by HBI Research Associate Josette Goldish, these researchers explain not only what is happening but why. Read participants' bios.

  • Jewish Out-Marriage: A Global Perspective, Conference opening remarks by Sergio DellaPergola

  • British Jewry and its Attitudes toward Intermarriage, by Marlena Schmool

  • Intermarriage Among Jews in France, by Erik Cohen

  • Kosher and the Christmas Tree: On Marriages Between Jews and Non-Jews in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, by Lars Dencik

  • Mixed Marriage and Post-Soviet Aliyah, by Mark Tolts

  • Jewish Out-Marriage: Mexico and Venezuela, by Sergio DellaPergola

  • Intermarriage Among Jews in Canada: A Demographic Perspective, by Gustave Goldmann

  • Intermarriage in South Africa, by Sally Frankental and Stuart Rothgiesser

  • Intermarriage Among Jewish Australians, by Gary Eckstein

  • The Argentine Case, by Yaacov Rubel

  • The Girls They Left Behind:Curacao's Jewish Women in the Nineteenth Century, by Josette Capriles Goldish


Choosing Limits, Limiting Choices: Women’s Status and Religious Life (March 13 - 14, 2005)

The invited speakers ranged from academics to activists, from Jews to Christians and Moslems, and from various countries such as Canada, the U.S. and Israel. Women from diverse religious traditions explored conflicts and commonalities between their cultural backgrounds and contemporary feminist ideals.

  • Educated for Change—or Changelessness?
    Moderator: Gloria Greenfield, Hebrew College/Combined Jewish Philanthropies Esther Krauss, founding principal, Ma'ayanot High School , Devora Steinmetz, Jewish Theological Seminary Devorah Zlochower, Drisha Institute for Jewish Education
  • Fundamentally Faithful
    Moderator: Debbie Kram, Boston Bureau of Jewish Education, Michelle Friedman, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School Debra Kaufman, Northeastern University, Stephanie Wellen Levine, Tufts University
  • Is Jewish Orthodox Life Threatened by Changing Gender Roles?
    Moderator: Rabbi Benjamin Samuels, Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, NEWTON MA Sylvia Barack Fishman, Brandeis University, Blu Greenberg, founding president, JOFA (JEWISH ORTHODOX FEMINIST ALLIANCE), Tamar Ross, Bar-Ilan University
  • Loyal Daughters and Liberated Women: An Interfaith Discussion
    Moderator: Bernadette Brooten, Brandeis University, Riffat Hassan, University of Louisville, Sister Mary C. Boys, Union Theological Seminary, Tova Hartman, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • Agunot and the Powers That Be
    Moderator: Sharon Shenhav, International Jewish Women's Rights Project, Susan Aranoff, Agunah, Inc., Norma Baumel Joseph, Concordia University, Susan Weiss, Center for Women's Justice

Double or Nothing: Jewish Families and Mixed Marriage in the United States (April 25 - 26, 2004)

Building on the book of the same name by Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman, this conference employed a thematic perspective to examine intermarriage within the household, within history, and in connection with Jewish education. The speakers ranged in viewpoints from Christians scholars married to Jewish women, and scholars who believe that intermarriage threatens the viability of a Jewish future.

  • Keynote Address: Judaism in the Interfaith Household

  • Ethnicity and Mixed Marriage in Historical and Contemporary Contexts

  • Jewish Education and Its Implications for Mixed Marriages

  • Mixed Marriage in Cultural Contexts

  • Living Mixed Traditions

  • Picturing Interfaith Relationships

  • Speculating on Jewish Futures