‘Marry out?’ Some surprising consequences of genetic disease risk among Ashkenazi Jews

Ashkenazi Jews have historically been an endogamous population. Marrying within the group remains important to many Jews because endogamy is seen as one way to preserve Judaism and ensure the survival of future generations. In the wake of the Holocaust, and amidst a steadily decreasing Jewish population, Jewish survival has great cultural relevance. The survival of the state of Israel also relies on maintaining an adequate Jewish population. Those who marry out (i.e. to non-Jews) may not provide their children with a Jewish upbringing, thereby jeopardising future generations. What, then, might lead an Ashkenazi Jewish woman to suggest the rather controversial idea of marrying out?

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