As Fewer Americans Marry, Jewish Marriage Rates Prove Surprisingly Resilient

Since the 1960s, the proportion of Americans who marry has declined precipitously, while those who marry tend to do so later, and divorce rates have risen. Jews are by no means immune to these trends, but have been less affected that the overall population, marrying more than Catholics, Protestants, or Muslims, although less than Mormons and Hindus. More surprisingly, these trends hold true even when the Orthodox are removed from the picture. Charles Fain Lehman seeks an explanation.

The data point in several directions. Almost certainly, [the Jewish marriage rate] is linked to Jews’ socioeconomic advantages. . . . The more educated and wealthier you are, the more likely you are to be married. But at the same time, it appears that Jewish religious identity and communal bonds play a role as well.

Orthodox respondents [to a 2013 Pew survey] were, unsurprisingly, far more likely to be married—about 70 percent, in total. But respondents who identified as “Reform” or “Conservative” were also substantially more likely to be married than non-religious Jews—approximately 55 percent married for both, compared with 41 percent married for Jews of no religion.

Even after excluding Orthodox respondents, giving to a Jewish cause, being involved in a Jewish organization, having most or all of your friends be Jewish, and attending services at least monthly are all associated with a substantially higher probability of being married. In other words, there is a correlation between being involved with Jewish community and being married. . . . While the available data are not dispositive, there is at least a plausible argument that being involved in a religious and ethnic community promotes marriage.

Read more at Tablet

More about: American Jewry, American Judaism, Jewish marriage, Marriage


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security