Who is a Jew: Identity Issues
For most Americans, traditional Jewish culture summons up images of Passover seders with steaming bowls of matzah ball soup, black-hatted, pale-skinned Hasidic men, and Yiddish-speaking bubbes (grandmothers) and zeydes (grandfathers). In reality, these snapshots represent only one Jewish ethnic group of many.Read More
Practices and TraditionsKohen
Descendents of Aaron the priest enjoy special privileges.Levite
Even after the Temple's destruction, Levites have some unique ritual privileges.Crypto-Jews
A history of the marrano diaspora.Semites
A historian traces the origins of the term.DNA Speaks
The field of genetics sheds light on the historical record of Jewish origins and migrations.
Modern InsightsFunny, You Don't Look Jewish
An Ashkenazic Reform Korean rabbi explores her identity.Non-Traditional Jewish Identities
A look at the many different ways Jews define their Judaism today.A New Model For Jewish Identity
Personal choice trumps group-oriented feelings of obligation.Jewish Secularism
Is Jewish secularism possible?Jewish Identity
More than half of American Jews define themselves as secular.
ControversiesJewish Legal Status
Especially in Israel, "Who is a Jew?" has many practical ramifications.Patrilineal Descent
The Reform movement's watershed resolution of 1983.Denominational Differences
Disagreements between the movements about how one can become a Jew.Self-Hating Jews
How does one qualify?
BooksWho Is a Jew?: Conversations, Not Conclusions
By Merle HymanIsrael, the Diaspora and Jewish Identity
Edited by Danny Ben-Moshe and Zohar SegevThe Conversion Crisis: Essays from the Pages of Tradition
Edited by Emanuel Feldman and Joel B. WolowelskyQuiz Yourself
How much do you know about the spectrum of Jewish identity?