Who -- Not What -- Is a Jew?

By Vernon Kurtz

CLAL: the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, March 4, 1994

The author, a Conservative rabbi, writes that the Reform Movement's decision in 1983 to accept patrilineal descent (along with a commitment to raise the child Jewish) as an acceptable basis for Jewish identity was answering the wrong question: while the movement tried to address the question of "who is a Jew" (i.e. which people have the status of being Jewish), the author contends that they actually addressed a different question: "what is a Jew" (i.e. what is it that makes a person Jewish).

Topic: Halakha, Continuity, Jewish Law, Policy, Jewish Identity, Change, Liberal Judaism, Jewish Continuity, Religious Denominations, Reform Judaism, Intermarriage, Immigration, Jewish Identification, Identity

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Editor: Cardin, Nina Beth

Volume/Issue: Vol.24/no.469

Page Number(s): 3-4

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Kurtz, Vernon. Who -- Not What -- Is a Jew?. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. CLAL: the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. 4 March 1994: 3-4. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=7486


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