Marrying Out

Marrying Out

Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood
Keren R. McGinity
Distribution: World
Publication date: 8/21/2014
Format: paper 290 pages, 31 b&w illus.
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-01319-4
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When American Jewish men intermarry, goes the common assumption, they and their families are “lost” to the Jewish religion. In this provocative book, Keren R. McGinity shows that it is not necessarily so. She looks at intermarriage and parenthood through the eyes of a post-World War II cohort of Jewish men and discovers what intermarriage has meant to them and their families. She finds that these husbands strive to bring up their children as Jewish without losing their heritage. Marrying Out argues that the “gendered ethnicity” of intermarried Jewish men, growing out of their religious and cultural background, enables them to raise Jewish children. McGinity’s book is a major breakthrough in understanding Jewish men’s experiences as husbands and fathers, how Christian women navigate their roles and identities while married to them, and what needs to change for American Jewry to flourish. Marrying Out is a must read for Jewish men and all the women who love them.

Author Bio

Keren R. McGinity is affiliated with Brandeis University. She is the author of Still Jewish: A History of Women and Intermarriage in America.


"[A] fresh and lucid look at intermarriage . . .McGinity integrates her findings with an impressive command of the social and historical research on intermarriage, making this book an important analysis of this thorny issue. . . .filled with vivid vignettes about intermarried couples." —Jewish Book World

"The burning personal issue for most American Jews today concerns intermarriage. Keren McGinity gives us a fascinating, perceptive, and vivid portrayal of the wide range of Jewish identities shaped by exogamous marriages. Read this lively book if you want to understand the state of American Jewish life today." —Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College

Finally, a book that separates fact from fiction about Jewish men and intermarriage. This important contribution to the growing literature on intermarriage illuminates contemporary Jewish life and culture. This volume clearly demonstrates that Jewish men can definitely intermarry, maintain a strong Jewish identity, and raise self-identifying Jewish children." —Kerry M. Olitzky, Executive Director, Jewish Outreach Institute

"A great many communally-involved families include Jewish men and non-Jewish women who have agreed to raise their children as Jews. Most of these women are passionately committed to raising Jewish children, fully cooperating in the Jewish education of their children, and are learning as much as they can about the Jewish faith and culture. As Jewish federations, synagogues, and JCCs expand outreach efforts, Keren McGinity provides a great deal of insight into the world of these very special and important interfaith households." —Barry Shrage, President, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

"This is the first book I have read that truly understands and supports Jewish men. Marrying Out opens a window into the psyches of intermarried Jewish men. It also serves as a guide to Jewish professionals striving to build a successful volunteer culture and reinvigorate Jewish family life." —Rabbi Charles Simon, Executive Director, Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs

"McGinity, a groundbreaking scholar, captures the telling details and the idiosyncratic trajectory of interfaith relationships and marriages in America. But as academic as McGinity’s work is, it is also highly personal." —The Forward

"In Marrying Out . . . historian Keren R. McGinity uses qualitative research to dismantle assumptions about the lives and attitudes of intermarried Jewish men." —Journal of Jewish Identities

"[P]rovides a penetrative analysis of how Jewish men are not 'lost' to Jewish communities but rather shape their own identities as Jewish husbands and fathers." —Marginalia

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Of Mice and Menschen
1. Professional Men
2. Sex and Money
3. Shiksappeal
4. Heartbreak Kid
Suggested Reading
About the Author
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