The “New Jewish Family”



So often we talk about the “New Jewish Family” as if overnight the Jewish family has radically changed. The truth is our families have been changing for some time. Less than a third of Jewish households are made up of a heterosexual married couple with children living at home. More households are made up of empty-nesters, those who are divorced, and those who have not yet or have never been married. Between intermarriage and adoption, close to ten percent of Jewish households include someone who identifies as other than white. Chances are you know a Jewish family who fits the description of the “New Jewish Family.” If you know me, you know such a family. Perhaps you are such a family.

Congregations are learning how to welcome trans-racial families, multi-ethnic families, gay and lesbian families and families created by adoption. We will highlight best practices of welcoming the diversity of Jews in our session, “Different Faces at Our Table: Welcoming the New Jewish Family,” Thursday at 4:00pm. We will learn from two congregations, one small and one large, one on the west coast and one on the east coast. Join us and learn how to make your congregation as colorful as the rainbow!

Our Outreach team is available to consult with you and to design a program just for your congregation to help you welcome all Jewish families into your community. If you’re at Biennial, sign up to meet with us in person.

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Rabbi Victor Appell

About Rabbi Victor Appell

Rabbi Victor Appell is the URJ's Congregational Marketing Director. He previously served as the Specialist for Marketing, Outreach & New Communities for the URJ’s Congregational Consulting Group. Rabbi Appell grew up in the Reform Movement, serving as a regional NFTY president and a staff member on Eisner Camp. He was ordained from Hebrew Union College in 1999, and began working for the URJ in 2005. He, his partner, and their two children live in Metuchen, NJ.

One Response to “The “New Jewish Family””

  1. avatar

    “Between intermarriage and adoption, close to ten percent of Jewish households include someone who identifies as other than white.”

    Are we to infer that non-white members of Jewish households only achieve that status through intermarriage or adoption? An extremely Ashkenazicentric assertion and one which a liberal Jewish organization should be ashamed of. If it weren’t for this sort of attitude, perhaps Outreach efforts would be unnecessary.

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