I was only able to relax around non-Jewish women, because I didn’t feel the same pressure; that’s how I met, and fell in love with, my wife. It was the day I’d long hoped for, marrying a nice Jewish girl. In fact, by the time we’d started dating, I’d given up on Jewish women, and my dream of a perfect Jewish wedding, altogether. The intense pressure I felt to date and marry within the tribe damaged my perception of Jewish women and my ability to be myself around them.I’m Jewish, but coming from the Soviet Union, I’m not a religious Jew.

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This information was pounded in from all directions, from rabbis, from my parents, my grandparents, Hebrew High School, Camp Ramah.

I felt the pressure: The future of my people was at stake! The school was arty, musical, nerdy, and had a substantial Jewish population. Even though I no longer felt outside the norm, I still had trouble getting dates … Every Jewish woman I asked out on a date rejected me.

I resolved that I would only go out with Jewish girls. I attributed this to the fact that I was kind of nerdy: My extra-curricular activities included musical theater, video games, and Dungeons & Dragons, not exactly the types of things that made a guy popular with the ladies. I had numerous opportunities, on the other hand, to date non-Jewish women.

In high school, this decision proved to be mostly moot. I tried not to follow up on them at first, but I was frustrated and lonely and had finite willpower.

As a result, many of our Jewish leaders and even major philanthropists are finding that their grandchildren are not necessarily being raised Jewishly.

But not every interfaith marriage is a threat to Jewish continuity.

The word "intermarriage" has been the convenient scapegoat for many of the ills in American Jewish life.

Countless sermons have been wasted on this topic, and its specter has launched numerous fund-raising campaigns for institutions that usually have little clue on how to creatively adapt to a changing community.

It’s not that he’s unfit to be with her; he’s of fine character.