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Still JewishA History of Women and Intermarriage in America$
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Keren R. McGinity

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757307

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757307.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Still Jewish

Keren R. McGinity

NYU Press

This introductory chapter first sets out the book's focus, namely the history of American Jewish women who intermarried during the twentieth century. The book seeks to answer three main questions: What did intermarriage mean to and for women who were Jewish at the time they married Gentile men? In what ways did Jewish women shed or retain their ethnic and religious heritage despite marrying “out”? And how was intermarriage portrayed by the mass media and religious activists? This endeavor strives to understand how women's lives changed over time according to their exogamous marriage choices and whether they further integrated into non-Jewish society or contributed to Jewish continuity by self-identifying as Jews and raising Jewish children. The remainder of the chapter discusses the issue of continuity, the historical prohibition of Jewish–Gentile intermarriage, and the underrepresentation of intermarried Jewish women in scholarly analyses.

Keywords:   Jews, American Jewish women, intermarriage, Gentiles, continuity, interfaith marriage, Jewish–Gentile intermarriage

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