Who is a Jew?
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The definition of who is a Jew may depend on a few things. Because Judaism has no specific race, it can include characteristics of an ethnicity, religion, and citizenship, and so the definition of who is a Jew is not specific.
This question has been a subject to legal arguments, especially in Israel but also outside of it. There have been court cases in Israel since 1962 which had to address the question. In addition, a United Kingdom court has had to consider whether the question was a racial issue or not, and so have many other countries.
According to the simplest definition used by Jews in order to identify themselves, a person is a Jew either by birth (in any case if one's mother is Jewish) or by religious conversion. However, again, there are differences of opinion among the various about the matter. Therefore, the following need to be taken into account:
- Are the parents mixed (Jew and Gentile)?
- What is the conversion process?
- Has there been a loss of Jewish identity?
- What is the person's diaspora identity?
- Do they have an Israeli citizenship?
Related pages[change | change source]
Other websites[change | change source]
- Humanistic Judaism view on Who is a Jew
- Reform view of who is a Jew by the Union for Reform Judaism
- Who is a Jew by Jewish Virtual Library
- Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Judaism: How to Square the Circle by JCPA
- Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman: Israel cannot be arbiter of conversions to Judaism by Shalom Hartman Institute
- Matrilineal descent Conservative view
- The "Who Is a Jew?" Controversy by the U.S. Library of Congress
- Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman: The challenge and crisis of conversion in Israel by Shalom Hartman Institute
- Who is a Jew? from www.beingjewish.com
- "How Do You Prove You’re a Jew?" Gershom Gorenberg, New York Times, March 2, 2008
- "Rabbinical Court Puts Thousands Of Converts in Legal Limbo" Ruling Reopens Fractious Debate Over ‘Who is a Jew?’", Nathan Jeffay, The Forward, May 8, 2008
- "Israel considers question: ‘Who is a Jew?’ – Issue heads to higher court after rabbis annul some 40,000 conversions" (November 2008)
- Who is born a Jew? Rabbinical and Karaite interpretations side by side from half-Jewish.org
- Times Online, The law of the land collides with the Law of Moses
- Israel risks alienating Jewish diaspora over definition of a Jew