Modern Judaism, particularly in America, is faced continually with the question of Jewish identity and Jewish status. One's identity is self-defined, whereas a community has the authority to determine a potential member's status. While ideally one's status and identity are in confluence, it is possible for them to be in conflict with each other. Rabbis often act in the role of determining someone's Jewish status, and they also have significant influence over the development of an individual's Jewish identity. These rabbis have the opportunity to affirm members of their community in order to draw them in, ultimately confirming status and strengthening identity.