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One of the main reasons, Riley finds, is that the older people get, the more likely they are to intermarry — and Jews tend to marry older than Americans generally, according to the 2000-01 National Jewish Population Survey.

By the same token, Mormons, who encourage early nuptials, are the least likely faith to outmarry.

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As for Jennifer and Eric, they developed feelings for each other in high school, but didn’t act on them because of the religious difference.

They attended Penn State, fell in love, and after graduation, got engaged.

Riley cites the work of sociologists Robert Putnam and David Campbell, who measured the popularity of various religious groups with extensive surveys for their 2010 book, “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.”“America, for the most part, loves its Jews,” agreed Paul Golin, the associate executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute.

Some Jewish communal leaders welcome interfaith couples.

“The goalpost has moved from ‘Do you marry someone Jewish? ’” said Paul Golin, associate executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, a national organization based in New York and dedicated to helping interfaith families connect to Jewish institutions and programs.

“It doesn’t mean that anti-Semitism is over, but there’s much more philo-Semitism than anti-Semitism in America.”Riley says intermarriage is both a cause and effect of this phenomenon.

“The more you have exposure to people of other faiths, the more likely you are to like them and then marry them yourself,” she said.