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 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