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Jewish women having tougher time finding, marrying Jewish men

Posted by on April 4, 2008 – 3:47 pm

Jewish women cant find Jewish men for their lifelong soul mates. Researchers are finding that Jewish men seem to be literally running from Jewish women and happy to meet and marry gentile women.

The April issue of the World Jewish Digest has made the issue its cover story. The giant cover illustration shows a piece of wedding cake with only a bride figure on top no groom and the words, The Missing Piece: Why finding a Jewish husband is no cakewalk. The story by Sarah Bronson, A Jewish man is hard to find not only addresses the major crisis over intermarriage, but it draws on sociological studies into the psyches of unmarried Jewish men and women. It suggests young male Jews consciously and unconsciously are repelled at the prospect of having Jewish wife. It partly may stem from having had an overbearing Jewish mother, but it is far more complicated than that.

Perhaps most painful, especially for those in the Reform and Conservative movements, is that Jewish men are increasingly alienated from synagogue and communal life and some hold active antipathy toward Jewish women, Bronson writes. The article draws heavily from a report coming out this spring by Sylvia Barack Fishman, a professor of contemporary Jewish life at

Brandeis University, and Daniel Parmer, a Brandeis graduate student. Their studies found that as Jewish women have gotten more active in Jewish ritual life and culture, Jewish men have increasingly disappeared, rejecting both the trappings of communal affiliation and Jewish women.

So, Bronson, notes, the singles crisis is not an isolated problem, but rather a symptom of a more radical one: a pervasive identity crisis that profoundly affects Jewish men. Fishman and Parmer found from their interviews with young Jews that Jewish women who married non-Jewish men overwhelmingly say that their original preference was to marry a Jewish man, but that, with the passage of time, other factors gained consideration. They found that American women generally are more likely to describe themselves as religious and believe religion is important for raising ethical children. They also are more likely to want to maintain family ties and find husband that please their parents.

Jewish girls are more likely than boys to receive Jewish education, more likely to join Jewish youth groups, take part in college Hillel activities, take Jewish studies and join Jewish singles groups (where they outnumber men). The growing gender imbalance among American Jews is a critical and painful challenge in Jewish life today, the researchers write.

But what about seemingly intentional avoidance of a Jewish bride? Bronson writes, Disproportionately, compared to non-Jewish men, American Jewish males harbor active antipathy toward Jewish women. They complain, Fishman and Parmer write, that dating Jewish women is more work than fun and that Jewish women are demanding, overbearing and best escaped.

They point to an experiment done in the 1990s with Jewish and non-Jewish men and women who were given a batch of photos of females and asked to find the typical Jewish woman and then to describe her. Then they were asked to describe the ideal Jewish woman. Of the three groups, the Jewish males comments sharply departed. Whereas non-Jews of both genders and Jewish women offered terms like smart, able to talk about anything, beautiful and well-read, Jewish men were likely to describe Jewish women as talking too much, having to have an opinion about everything, obsessed with food, overweight and materialistic. The Fishman-Parmer team was struck by the finding that Jewish mens ideal woman was more of a supermodel and their choice of words like quiet, not saying much and likes to listen. Fishman said that if a Jewish woman asked a Jewish man at a party what he did for a living, the man would interpret it to mean, All Jewish women care about is how much money I make as if there is no other reason for a person to ask you what you do when they are getting to know you.

Fishman calls them self-image issues and that men are ambivalent about their Jewishness, and they project that onto the women. They feel that if they are attached to a non-Jewish woman, it will break the curse.

The article draws from Jewish dating coach Evan Marc Katz who generalizes that Jews are complicated and strong-willed, and it creates relationship issues. Were a bright people, a questioning people, but a neurotic, complaining and negative people, Katz tells the World Jewish Digest writer. Would you want to be around that? Wed be well-served to, at least, get aware of that (quality) and be responsible for it and not be too surprised if others arent responding well to it. We have a lot of mishegas (insanity). Its no wonder we dont want to marry each other. Were very lucky when we find someone who loves us.

What really complicates things for Jewish women is their seeming willingness to wait until their 30s to find a husband only to find that available Jewish men want to marry younger women. Just as child-bearing chances decrease for them, so do marriage options.

The in-depth, six-page World Jewish Digest story says Jewish on-line dating actually has helped counter the bad trends. Orthodox Jews have their own set of issues: Though intermarriage is very low and marriage is less delayed, the Orthodox Jewish men who make it to their 30s unmarried are especially resistant to commitment. Those men also are especially reluctant to marry women near to their age. An Orthodox Jewish dating web site director said, Men are not open to dating women their own age, never mind a woman who is older. A man is less inclined to date a 30-year-old if he can date a 23-year-old.

Finally, Jews extremely high levels of education are a key factor. Sixty-one percent of Jewish men and 50 percent of Jewish women have received a college degree, while 29 percent of the males and 21 percent of females hold graduate degrees. That academic prowess decreases dating pools because men typically want to marry down and women want to marry up.

Read the story at World Jewish Digest.

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  • Daniel H says:

    This is the most ill-informed article. It’s blaming jewish men for not liking jewish women. The psychology behind the explanation is idiotic…” self-image issues and that men are ambivalent about their Jewishness, and they project that onto the women.” By and large, I am disgusted by Jewish women. Today they project few of the great qualities their grandmothers held. They assume they have a right to an endless stream of money and status that there father’s have provided. A vast majority of Jewish women would prefer to mary a rich man than a Jewish man. Yes, the first question most Jewish women asks is what do you for a living. I’ve had non-jewish women ask me that on a 4th date. As much as a women hates being looked at is a sex object, a man hates being looked at as a money object. The man sees the Jewish women as someone who is continually looking to serve her material desires and insecure ego. The Jewish man then thinks to himself how this woman that is typically physically inferior to her shiksa counterpart going to raise and care for him and his children if she is constantly absorbed in herself. The reality is that after marriage, the Jewish man because a slave to his wife and children. The Jewish man has seen how nasty his mother has been to his father and refuses to repeat the cycle of servitude…..and no, this situation did not play out in my family, my mother is essentially a shiksa and I rarely meet jewish women like my mother….they are always shiksas. Instead of complaining why Jewish men hate Jewish women…why don’t Jewish women learn and see what shiksas do that make jewish men love them so much…. and by the way, it’s not the straight nose or blond hair….it’s the charm, personality and appreciativeness….

  • Andre Renaud says:

    I’m married and a Christian..But I found this article interesting..You know it’s the same whether you are a Jewish person or not..Maybe becauser of the tight economy women are more concerned about whether the guy is on welfare or not.LOL I don’t know any jewish people but I’m sure it would be interesting..Have a nice day..Andre.

  • TheNJannuitant says:

    I am Jewish. My first wife was Jewish, and was demanding, complaining, needy and totally unappreciative. My current wife is loving, capable and very appreciative. She is not Jewish. Her experience with the Jewish men she met before me, was that they are often”great guys who are not appreciated by their women.” I think the issue is with jewish women, and how they are raised.

  • Ephraim says:

    I think a man needs to address his own Jewishness if he wants a jewish girl and Yes, marriage WILL come up more in jewish dating I think which creates tension for both, since afteral both man and women have CHOSEN to date their jewish counterparts with the intent on entertaining the possibility.
    In the Orthodox world of course there are MANY denominations and ways of dealing with dating but the consensus is it IS for marriage and family, the side effect is there are sometimes gatekeepers and third parties involved to ensure two people are right for each other as opposed to letting two adults determine for themselves on their own. I suppose on my opinion this works well for the yeshivah segment but it does make it difficult for older more mature people who find themselves single for any number of reasons to find a mate to a point where you have people who are involuntarily celibate for YEARS as a result of all of the accepted dating protocols and the ongoing separating of men/women in social gatherings that are not prayer services.
    It’s as if some imaginary power wants to PREVENT men and women for ever meeting. I know Orthodox jews who have lead secret double lives because of the excessively strict standards the community places on them. Suddenly ending up in the arms of a shiksah seems like the only escape, especially when making sacrifices and being observant and praying to g-d just doesn’t seem to be enough. It’s the image that matters. IF I was not happily married now to a great jewish woman I suppose I would still be trying to marry one though because I can’t imagine what I would do about explaining to the kids why daddy has a menorah and mommy has a tree, rationalize all you want but it’s a f—ed up message for the kids unless you want to be some atheist or Buddhist as that is a popular option I suppose .

  • Steve C. says:

    It’s not only jewish women, but the majority seems to be jewish. Go to any public library in a predominately jewish area and listen carefully to the senior women (49-99) and what you hear is complaints, negative comments, cattyness, and demands like a spoiled 5 year old.

    They’ve been pampered and spoiled since daddy and mommy told them the world and everything in it belongs to them.

    The term Jewish American Princess fits them to a tee, i’m married to an indian woman who falls into the same category. She wants an Iphone,
    I get said Iphone for her and she complains it doesn’t do everything she wants then blames me for not listening to her demands.

    Us guys can’t win so imagine what it’s like for those jewish guys out there…Oy Vey!

  • JJimbo says:

    I am dating a Jewish woman now and have been for about 4 years. I am divorced from my first wife who wanted a big-fat house and divorced me for not providing a doctor size home. I am a gentile man and my ex-wife was gentile. Never wanted a doctor size house as I am always on the road and just don’t have time to address the “honey-do-lists” just whats necessary to keep the important things going from to failure when I am home. Now my Jewish engaged to be bride is loyal in all respects and I attribute that to the jewish teachings but she does COMPLAIN about a lot of things and that I have to constantly remind her that she has to hold the fort while I’m not home because that is the requirements of my job. Its like accepting a woman who has kids because they are a part of her and the woman has to accept home conditions because the husbands job is part of him. The jewish woman has to self reliant on her own ability as I am not able to attend to her every need when she has a problem. I can see that progress is slow moving in this area but it is progressing.

  • Jeanine says:

    It is no small wonder that I have not found Jewish men appealing. When I read these diatribes of stereotypes I want to vomit. I am a Jewish woman and I am NOT a ‘JAP.’ I put myself through 2 college degrees and took care of my elderly parents when they were seriously ill. I own my home (mortgage)that I got ON MY OWN STEAM. I am not slender, but curvaceous. I just want to find a good guy who has some of the same interests (intellectually speaking). I don’t want to boss–but I don’t want to be bossed. Perhaps much of your complaints come from dating in a limited group, namely affluent Jewish women. Frankly, most of the comments I have read above are so shallow, it’s beyond belief. Why don’t you try to find someone who has similar interests? As for the ‘quiet’ attributes–well, men who prefer meek little things have some issues. Try to find the PERSON in the date. I have hear very little about any interests of these men. Do they merely sit on the couch watching reruns of the Brady Bunch and still secretely lusting after Marcia?! Personally, I prefer men who are involved in the world. I don’t like ‘shopping’ but I do like international relations, philosophy, theater, visual art, music, writing, and politics. I’m a busy person who refuses to …”suffer fools gladly.” Grow up guys!

  • miriam s says:

    at Daniel H–you are a prime example of an anti semitic jew. i suggest you work on your self loathing and loathing of your own kind before you criticize anybody else.

    i was raised jewish in an upper middle class neighborhood. yes, i agree, there are many whiny, spoiled jewish princesses out there, but there are also just as many stong, independent, nurturing, beautiful, loving jewish women too.

    my experience with jewish men throughout my life has been that they are hypercritical and hold women to a “supermodel” standard. what many of them want, to prove they are american, is to have a woman who doesn’t “look jewish” or act jewish.

    i am attractive female, in good shape. i wasn’t raised rich and i certainly wasn’t a jewish princess. when i was young, i was relentlessly teased by the jewish boys in our community about my hair and my nose. these same jewish boys were not supermodels themselves and this was very cruel and hypocritical. i don’t know where this behavior comes from but it’s a problem. i felt that i was unattractive and it affected my self esteem.

    in my 20′s my goal was to marry a jewish man. i encountered a lot of rejection and the bottom line seemed to be that these men simply did not want jewish women. so i stopped looking for jewish men and started dating non-jews. my life changed a lot!!! non jewish men appreciated me for the person i was. they complimented me on my appearance, especially my dark, wavy hair–something the jewish boys had made fun of. down deep i did want to marry a jewish man, but i got tired of the hate. when i was 35 i had my daughter, her father is not jewish. but i am raising my daughter jewish.

    i am no longer with my child’s father. we belong to a synagogue and it has been like being thrown back in time. the single men there in my age range all want some perfect ideal that they will probably never find. they talk behind the women’s backs and criticize their looks. i am really appalled at this behavior. it’s pretty sad actually. many of them are divorced from their non-jewish wives. they say they want a jewish woman, but all they do is find fault with us. it gets tiring.

  • D says:

    You really want to know what their doing? There womanizing asian women. If I makes you feel better they arn’t even treating many asians as human beings. They’re acting like a bunch of fucking Nazi betraying and genociding. Take a poll of what your men are marrying. You’ll see.

  • Tripod says:

    I agree with “D”. It’s INSANE how many young Jewish men have Asian women on their arms. I wouldn’t consider the Asian women to be docile. I’d say Jewish men don’t want to marry someone who acts like 60 years old the moment they turn 30. It’s no different with black men. Black men are running from black women by the numbers.

    Could the two cultures have something in common perhaps? Overbearing women?

  • T.A.B. says:

    Hey, I’ll bite. I am a Jewish woman who has dated two Jewish guys in the past and NEVER WILL AGAIN. I agree with Miriam, above, who was “teased” (tortured is a better word) relentlessly by Jewish guys about her looks as well as mine. The Jewish men I dated were merciless in questioning me to the point of interrogation; always suspiciously and in a nasty, disbelieving fashion. They NEVER were satisfied and I literally killed myself in both relationships; both of whom I never should have bothered with considering how they found fault with every facet of my existence. But worse than the K.G.B.-like, relentless badgering were the equally-relentless, belittling comments, insults, “constructive-criticism” “suggestions” when any non-Jewish guys were far more complimentary and accepting of not only what I look like, but my morals, accomplishments, talents, interests. The Jewish guys tore down every bit of my self-esteem, always jeering at me, stringing me along, treating me like absolutely garbage, when their own parents had (and still have) decades-long marriages. One guy strung me along for more than two years with the worst array of phony, broken promises, always claiming: “When we get married…” When exactly is this going to be?? And yes, of course, I questioned his pathological lying about EVERYTHING, tried and finally succeeded (with the eventual, costly help from a lawyer) in breaking up with him only to have him stalk me NONSTOP for three solid years after I made the break-up stick; the other guy was (and still is) the most arrogant, nasty, commitment phobic a**h*** who uses all women and throws them away, just so hateful of all women, but especially cruel to Jewish women. Who on Earth do these guys think they are? I treated then like gold and did everything a wife would have done without the benefit of being married. NEVER AGAIN.

  • Emeka says:

    This article has terrible spelling and grammar. Oy vey!

  • tyrise says:

    jeanine wow! just listening to ur tour de force of words works up a titanic thirst. it’s obvious; ur way 2 agressive…nothingn wrong about that; but its important to turn it down relation 2 the situation. international relations can’t keep u warm @ night. In fact it can b argued that international relations is akin to the relationship between a man and a woman.

    Any way i guess women of EVERY culture complain and are antsy; but probably especially jewish based on the general discourse. But great topic

  • RosaH says:

    I am of a South Korean descent, female and brought up Roman Catholic all my life.
    I am a gentile and never been exposed to Jewish people up until 2 years ago when I started university here in Canada. I’d say most of the Jewish women are beautiful and it’s a great shame that Jewish men stereotype Jewish women in a such negative light as some of the comments suggest here.
    Although, I was born to gentile parent I have a great respect for Judaism and I actually love Judaism because it has such a rich history! And Judaism seems to resonate with me very well. It’s so sad to see that Jewish men don’t find Jewish women attractive and want to marry outside of their faith. I have a Jewish guy friend that doesn’t practise Judaism and he seems to have some negative connotation towards his people, culture, and faith. This really saddens me because it tells me he is a “LOSER”. LOSERS hold prejudices without any sort of deep understanding about people, ethnic groups, and faith. As for I’m concerned he is taking a sexual interest in me and I find this really disturbing because I DON’T think he is making a romantic advances to me with a good intention. So that’s why I am putting him on a “Guy friend” list that I would NEVER EVER pursue him EVER. So many times, I have persuaded him to be a good Jew but he denies it and hates it and I just despise his pessmistic attitude. That being said, Jewish women should be thankful that they attract the good Jewish men NOT like this self-loathing Jew a gentile encounters.

  • phil says:

    I never did seem to have any success trying to meet Jewish women when i was younger. I am Jewish and married a gentile. The marriage lasted almost 30 years before it unfortunately ended in divorce.
    As an older, single man it is difficult to meet new ladies. I tried 2 internet dating sites. When I located what seemed like a compatible Jewish woman i would initiate contact. My profile listed that i was Jewish. I got very little response from Jewish women, even now, as a 60 year old single gentleman. I cannot say that the Gentile woman are overwhelming me with their responses but I do receive better and more encouraging feedback from the Gentile women. I do not feel I will even know or understand why I experience, past and present, so much difficulty appealing to Jewish women. I seem to be just fine with the Gentile women including the one I spent many years married to. It will it seems remain a mystery to me.

  • Tammy says:

    I Googled “Jewish Women cannot find husbands” because I went to college with a lot of Jewish women from wealthy families and they were unpleasant people.
    They were sexually available, so they had no trouble attracting boys.
    But I cannot imagine that any of them are married now.

    I remember more than a few telling me loudly, when I said I was from somewhere other than Manhattan, that everything they had ever done made them smarter, the best, and my life experiences were trash. They cheated on tests using money. They used cocaine. Their selfishness and belief that they could buy whatever they wanted was simply unattractive.

    I can imagine that jewish communities must have had very strict rules in the past forcing jewish intermarriage so that it would occur.

  • frank thomas says:

    while cover for real reason mate ‘jewish’ male to oriental woman not sabotage necessarily.

    obvious this hybrid oft bring that extinct ‘aryan’ blond blue phenotype or more accurately ‘look’ to: possibly displace a more original resurrection or even correction or erection which may be ?intolerable in some quarters. also notice they only want the high phenotype ‘asian’ woman, who do and, maybe merely, retain the most conserved ‘aryan’ phenotype to this day, as there is some truth to ‘original’ ‘aryan’ phenotype having about from foreign patern (pattern) into an oriental maternal vessel, simply speaking.

    more importantly, and more centrally, ‘jewish ppl are not a race but a nation..’ this is military grade and covert program to pull together ‘jews’ in a more cohesive entity racially, namely, have fewer chosen men (the ones pushed out and say they ‘dont like jewish women’ instead of saying i simply wasnt welcome in the circle) fertilize numerous jewish females, as there was so much before.. ‘as long as female is jewish’.. meaning unstable paternity.. this would sort of reverse that in a way. this while a genomic synthesis which may have virtue although ?why the cover, also synthesize socio-psychology, ie bring confidence to the males on the inner circle etc and so catalyze them men. etc. paternal model etc.

    cursory analysis.

    i say be open about it and have everyone blessing it would turn out better for everyone that way including the acute goals.

    do they not want others to engage their own models?

  • jewban says:

    I just got ou of a 7 month relationship . I am jewish and this was my first jewish girlfriend. I am a cuban jew and physically always prefered latin women. my ex was a colombian girl.

    so everythign going fine.. i come from a middle class family who strugged their entire life and i make about 45k a yr. the girl i dated never paid for any date, even after 7 months i still opened the car door for her. i would buy her lavish gifts and take her to nice places.

    after 7 months her parents basically forbade her to see me only reason.. i cant maintain her lifestyle shes used to.. and being that she is heavily influenced by her family after they threatned to disown her ( i am highly educated btw with one yr law school under my belt and im still not good enough), she just left me.. i loved her very much (shes not the prettiest girl in the world but to me she was gorgeous).

    its mindboggling . never again will i date a jewish girl. last time i saw her she says “im selfish” i want to go on expensive trips yearly, have my expensive purses, etc..

    its sad that i work my butt off and it was not enough.. this is why the jewish culture is dying and we are all marrying outside religion. all i want is to have jewish kids.. kinda hard to have a woman convert.

    very sad.. that i may have to meet someone outside our religion and have goy kids

  • Steve says:

    I actually suffer from LS (love shyness). For those who never heard of something like this google it. I am jewish male 37 yrs old. Always wanted to have jewish girlfriend and because of LS never had anyone.

  • Mark Katz says:

    At the same time Jewish men are turning their backs on religious orthodox and its weird non nonsensical demands, Jewish women are embracing it, drinking the Hillel house Kool-Aide, and using Jewishness as a club to avoid having any real responsibility or doing any real work around the house, or just real work to help contribute to the high maintenance life they insist upon. They are too busy with volunteer work (mostly expensive coffee klatches), ferrying kids about to places they can dump them so they can spend a few hours kvelling with their friends, and using keeping frumm to avoid housework and real work.
    Then there is the constant abrading of the male psyche, get a group of Jewish women together and they launch into an immediate assault on their husband, competing with each other to see who can do the best job of denigrating their husband. This is not a good thing at a work related gathering. It is an embarrassment to me to go to my friends houses and have the wife take me aside and tell me what a disappointment her husband (my friend) is. I quit accepting their offers to match make, i got fed up with being asked how much I make how many children I will support, and how much I will give to charity (ie support her high maintenance social life at the cost of my financial security, her financial security is not in question, the children she wants are her way of assuring a high post divorce income.)
    And then there is is associated in-law drama, where again religion is used as a club to enforce husband docility.
    I married a Korean woman. I am happy, she seems happy, the Jewish women I know drip venom, but I find myself less and less interested in the tribal goings on, so they are easy to ignore.

  • Yochannon says:

    “Jewish culture”… A Jew is a Jew, not the byproduct of culture. The reason you have trouble finding good Jewish spouses is because you think Judaism and being Jewish is all cultural. You’ve forgotten what it means to be Jewish if you A.) Think Jews are materialistic, snobbish, or in any way less preferable than a shicksa or B.) Are acting in a materialistic and egotistical way. The reason we are materialistic and egotistical is.because we have lost our identity as Jews and assimilated. To be a Jew is the greatest thing in the world! Rachmana litzlan a Yid should ever feel different than that! How many of you reading this commercial could readily tell me what rachmana litzlan means? Maybe a few. The only reason a Jew would assimilate, G-d forbid, is because he or she is ignorant of what being Jewish is really about. Or because of anti semitism. Ad this is the most heart wrenching thing in the world. What a tragedy, to have forgotten our way as a people. This is so sad.

  • Edielkid says:

    It definitely is true that there is a lot of pressure placed on Jewish men to earn but the reason behind this is fundamentally because Jewish people tend to raise large families which is kinda hard to do without a bank account (although some women take this point further from its origin than necessary).

    I myself am a Jewish male involved in the arts and I often wonder whether I am going to be able to support a family at the rate I’m going.

    However the major reason its been hard for me is just that the pool of available Jewesses is not so deep and it can be hard to find what you want when your options are limited.

    Peace out brothers and sisters, keep on truckin, every problem has a solution

  • Joshua says:

    From an artistic angle: What did a stalwart Vietnam Vet, Walter Sobchak, have in common with the readily amenable Marty, the Dudes landlord? Think about it

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