How is it possible that someone could be welcomed to Israel under the law of return, serve the Jewish state’s army, and die defending his adopted homeland, and still not be considered Jewish enough to be buried alongside his comrades?
My grandfather had no Jewish identity, he was just Jewish. In traditional society one is as one is born. In the matter of conversion how can the contemporary reality of identity construction interact with the classic concept of kedushat Yisrael?
For much of Jewish history, Jewishness and being a “Jew” were inextricably tied to “Judaism,” or religion, broadly defined as membership in a people. But this paradigm is becoming obsolete, replaced by what American historian David Hollinger calls post-ethnicity.
Steven M. Cohen and Jack Wertheimer
While Shaul Magid applauds the shift to a porous, self-constructed, and voluntary ethnicity, we doubt it is “good for the Jews.” We take wary cognizance of post-ethnicity and urge American Jews to contend with it, rather than surrender.
Susan A. Glenn & Naomi B. Sokoloff In 2009, controversy erupted when a publically funded Orthodox Jewish school in London denied admission to a child with a Jewish father and a mother who had converted to Judaism. The Orthodox standard of Jewishness employed by the school favored children born to Jewish mothers, regardless of how
Lila Corwin Berman “I want my child to have a strong Jewish identity.” If you travel in circles similar to mine (synagogue-based preschool and the so-called “playground minyan”), this is a familiar line. The more I hear (and say) it, the more I find myself drawn to understanding the historical complexity beneath the seemingly basic
Noam Pianko Recently, I have been interested in the resurgent popularity of the term “Jewish peoplehood” as a new buzzword for evaluating Jewish identity. To get a better sense of the trend, I have had Google send me a daily alert with a link to every new Web reference to the term. The alerts I’ve
Zohar Weiman-Kelman When I think about my Jewish identity, I turn to the history of Jewish women. As a doctoral candidate, I recently had the privilege of teaching a course at the University of California, Davis, “Writing Their Way: Jewish Women between Eastern Europe and America.” On the first day of class, I asked my
Mark Washofsky “We cannot remain silent. We must protest against those who, by facilitating conversions not conducted in accordance with halakhah, allow goyim to enter the vineyard of the house of Israel.” (Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Wosner, quoted in “Rabbi Elyashiv Opposes Army Conversions,” Yediot Ahronot, January 11, 2011) Daniel Gordis