There are currently nearly 90,000 interfaith couples in Israel in which one partner is Jewish, according to data recently released by the Israeli Interior Ministry’s Central Bureau of Statistics.
According to a report by Israel Hayom Monday morning, this marks the first time in a years that the Israeli government has disclosed the official number of intermarried couples listed in the marriage registrar.
Following a query by Dr. Netanel Fisher, head of the government policy department at the Academic Center for Law and Science, CBS released data showing that there are a total of roughly 1.345 million married couples in Israel with at least one Jewish partner.
Of those, 1.260 million are Jewish couples (both partners being Jewish), with some 85,000 mixed marriages in which one partner is Jewish and the other not – or 6.3% of all marriages with at least one Jewish partner.
A majority (close to 53,000) of the Jews married to non-Jews are men, while 32,000 are women married to non-Jewish men.
The vast majority (87%) of Jews in mixed marriages were listed as married to people as not being registered with any recognized religion – a category made up primarily of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Intermarriages between Jews and Arabs was rare, the data showed, with more Jewish women than men being married to an Arab spouse.
“The phenomenon of mixed marriages isn’t just a problem for Diaspora Jews,” Dr. Fisher told Israel Hayom, “it’s a problem for Israeli Jews as well.”
The previous number of interfaith couples with a Jewish partner given by the CBS was 111,000, though the figure was considered an imprecise estimate, and the current lower figure may thus not actually represent a decline in intermarriage.