Jewish assimilation

Jewish assimilation

Jewish Assimilation is a social and religious process of loss of the Jewish identity of an individual by marriage to a spouse that is not Jewish, or the abandonment of the Jewish religion to adopt another religion which is more common, and thus more acceptable at the new habitat of that individual. In reality the act of the assimilation comprises a number of elements: the assimilator will usually relinquish the Jewish values and embrace cultural customs of nations that are not Jewish.


Enlightenment (Haskala)

Jewish assimilation began on an extensive scale towards the end of the 18th century. Jewish Enlightenment began in Western Europe, mainly Germany. Reasons sited for this included a hope to be better assimilated into the non-Jewish European communities, (especially in the upper classes) and an absence of a Jewish state in which they could realize their national religious identity.

First awareness

Assimilation had reached the earliest political debates in the emancipation era on whether and to what extent Jews should relinquish their right to difference in return for civic equality. Preserved within the concept are traces of the struggle between the Zionists and anti-Zionists and between the Reform Judaism and Orthodox movements over the future form of a modern and sustainable Jewish consciousness.


According to Halakha, when a Jewish man marries a non-Jewish woman, their children are considered to be gentile. However, when a Jewish woman marries a non-Jewish man, who does not undergo conversion, their children would be considered Jewish.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ASSIMILATION — ASSIMILATION. In general the sociocultural process in which the sense and consciousness of association with one national and cultural group changes to identification with another such group, so that the merged individual or group may partially or …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Assimilation — (from Latin assimilatio ; to render similar ) may refer to more than one article: *Assimilation (linguistics), a linguistic process by which a sound becomes similar to an adjacent sound *Cultural assimilation, the process whereby a minority group …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish beliefs and practices in the reform movement — Jewish beliefs and practices have undergone dynamic changes and innovations in the reform movement of Judaism, known also as Progressive, Reform or Liberal Judaism. Due to its origins in Enlightenment era Germany, the reform movement has eyed… …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish Polish history during the 20th century — Jewish Polish history during the 1900s:Interwar period 1918 1939Independence and Polish JewsJews also played a role in the fight for independence in 1918, some joining Józef Piłsudski, but many other communities decided to remain neutral in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish American literature — holds an essential place in the literary history of the United States. It encompasses traditions of writing in English, primarily, as well as in other languages, the most important of which has been Yiddish. While critics and authors generally… …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish Polish history during the 19th century — Jewish Polish history during the 1800s:Jews of Poland within the Russian Empire (1795 1918) Main articles: History of Poland (1795 1918) and History of the Jews in Russia and Soviet Union Official Russian policy would eventually prove to be… …   Wikipedia

  • JEWISH STUDIES — Jewish studies, or often Judaic studies, refers here to the academic teaching of aspects of Jewish religion, history, philosophy, and culture, and associated languages and literatures, at the undergraduate and graduate level in institutions of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jewish history — is the history of the Jewish people, faith, and culture. Since Jewish history encompasses nearly four thousand years and hundreds of different populations, any treatment can only be provided in broad strokes. Additional information can be found… …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish humour — is the long tradition of humour in Judaism dating back to the Torah and the Midrash, but generally refers to the more recent stream of verbal, self deprecating and often anecdotal humour originating in Eastern Europe and which took root in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish atheism — is practiced by atheists who are ethnically Jewish and members of the Jewish people. Because Jewishness encompasses ethnic as well as religious components, the term Jewish atheism does not necessarily imply any kind of contradiction. Based on… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”