Intermarriage is a big problem in the Jewish community, especially the non-Torah observant part. No one can deny this as statistics show more than 50% of Jews marry out nowadays (it's much higher when you remove the Orthodox component). For years, non-religious Jewish organizations have been scrambling to deal with this crisis but with one caveat: they will reject any solution that makes Judaism more authoritative in one's life. In other words, let's build up Jewish identity but without anything that can be seen as traditional Jewish behaviour, eg. kashrus, Shabbos, etc.
Having failed at that, these organizations now seem intent on reiinterpreting the numbers in such a way as to minimize the problem. For example, instead of seeing a greater than 50% intermarriage rate as a problem, we are now told, in an article from JTA, that the number has leveled off since the early 1990's. Yes, it's not that big a problem because it's not getting worse. Okay, that's one way of looking at it.
But the article goes further, looking at the percentage of children in intermarried homes who are raised Jewish. They note that the number of children raised with Jewish identity is far higher than might otherwise have been supposed. Yes, far from dropping all sense of Jewish identity, intermarried Jewish parents are maintaining their children's Jewish identity in increasing number.
Huh? You're marriage to a non-Jew, an arrangement that Torah law does not recognize as valid. You don't keep kosher, or Shabbos. You don't wear tefillin or attend shul except for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. And you're providing a Jewish environment for your kids, a sense of Jewish identity? Having taken all the specifically Jewish things out of one's life, how exactly does that happen? Let's see:
It comes down to what individuals believe will help them lead better, richer lives.
“When you’re a parent," Olitzky said, "you make decision on the basis of what’s good for you and your family, not what’s good for the Jewish community.”
Could there be a more un-Jewish statement? In Judaism, the community is the centre of one's life and all Jews relate to one another through that community. To state that everything is individual only proves the contention that these people, despite their proclivities for hamataschen and latkes, have no real sense of a valid Jewish identity.
Jewish organizations that wish to stem the tide of intermarriage must ultimately accept that only traditional Jewish observance will do that. Otherwise, they are wasting time and money justifying behaviour that has never been Jewishly acceptable. No poorly done surveys will ever change that.