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Stereotypes Still 'Outside the Fold'

February 16, 1990

Another provocative article dealt with the emotionally immature Jewish male and female who need a non-Jewish partner to validate their fragile egos or eliminate the stress for performance success. The fact that the first paragraph refers to those well-known partnerships of Stuart Markowitz and Ann Kelsey ("L.A. Law") and of Michael and Hope Steadman ("thirtysomething") merely indicates that intermarriage is so much a fact of contemporary American society that it is commercially acceptable for prime-time television.

The problem is that media coverage of intermarriage often does not go the next step and offer help to those couples. It appears that the media are not interested in the real-life struggles of couples who grapple with the serious issues, which cannot be readily resolved in a one-hour time slot.

The experience of intermarriage deserves better than this shallow portrayal. Marriage, to those who work hard at its success, is not easy even for those who come from the same background.

The Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, through nine years of work by its Council on Jewish Life's Commission on Outreach to Intermarrieds, developed a policy of active outreach in order to encourage the creation and support for programs that reach real lives. The council will be happy to provide information and referral to resources to assist in dealing with the issues of intermarriage: (213) 852-1234, Ext. 2955.

SYLVIA BERNSTEIN, HELEN KATZ, Co-chairs, Commission on Outreach to Intermarrieds, Jewish Federation Council

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