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Donniel Hartman TV interview on assimilation, intermarriage in USA

Watch interview (Hebrew with English subtitles) with Israeli Ch. 2 reporter Emanuel Halperin


Click on photo to watch TV interview with Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, Shalom Hartman Institute

Click on photo above to watch the video interview  

Israeli TV personality Emanuel Halperin (R) interviewed Shalom Hartman Institute Co-Director Donniel Hartman on Israel’s Channel 2 recently on the subjects of the U.S. Jewish population, intermarriage and its effects on the Jewish people.

In the course of this 28-minute interview, the two touched on a number of significant issues for American and Israeli Jewry. Some of Donniel Hartman’s comments are excerpted below.

Click on the photograph of Donniel above to watch the entire video (in Hebrew with English subtitles) stream on your computer via Windows Media. You may also access the interview directly by clicking here.


Donniel Hartman on intermarriage


"The barrier or the limit of not marrying a non-Jew has been completely breached. There was a time when marrying a non-Jew meant leaving the Jewish people. Today, it doesn’t have the same meaning. It’s completely meaningless."


"Intermarriage doesn’t indicate a decision to leave the Jewish people any longer, your Jewish affiliation; it doesn’t indicate your decision about how you want to raise your children."


Donniel Hartman on Jewish identity


"These days, when counting Jews in the United States, the essential distinction is: Do you want to be a part of the Jewish people. Now, for the vast majority of Jewish history, it wouldn’t have occurred to a non-Jew to decide, ‘I want to be a part of the Jewish people.’ That’s one of the reasons that also when we considered converts we were very concerned. When someone comes to convert, what is the first question the halakha asks? Why did you want to convert? Because why would I want to convert – so that my children could be in a pogrom? In other words: what could you have been thinking? there are people in the State of Israel who are wonderful citizens in the State of Israel, but they’re not Jewish. Identifying with Israel doesn’t create Jewishness or Judaism. The same is true abroad. You have to want to be a part of the Jewish people."


"Today in the United States, the fact that you were born to a Jewish father or mother barely matters to your Jewish identity."

"Now, to be a Jew in the United States or to be part of a community, you have to choose and decide. You don’t inherit it. You do have to engage in some action. You have to attend synagogue, you have to be a member. It costs money. You have to give your children an education."

For more video from Shalom Hartman Institute, click here.

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