Who Is A Jew?
Reflections on History, Religion, and Culture
Series: Studies in Jewish Civilization
322 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Jewish identity is a perennial concern, as Jews seek to define the major features and status of those who “belong,” while at the same time draw distinctions between individuals and groups on the “inside” and those on the “outside.” From a variety of perspectives, scholarly as well as confessional, there is intense interest among non-Jewish and Jewish commentators alike in the basic question, “Who is a Jew?”
This collection of articles draws diverse historical, cultural, and religious insights from scholars who represent a wide range of academic and theological disciplines. Some of the authors directly address the issue of Jewish identity as it is being played out today in Israel and Diaspora communities. Others look to earlier time periods or societies as invaluable resources for enhanced and deepened analysis of contemporary matters.
All authors in this collection make a concerted effort to present their evidence and their conclusions in a way that is accessible to the general public and valid for other scholars. The result is a richly textured approach to a topic that seems always relevant. If, as is the case, no single answer appeals to all of the authors, this is as it should be. We all gain from the application of a number of approaches and perspectives, which enrich our appreciation of the people whose lives are affected, for better or worse, by real-life discussions of this issue and the resultant actions toward exclusivity or inclusivity.
Traces of Race: Defining Jewishness in America, by Sarah Imhoff
It’s All in the Memes, by Leonard Levin
Judging and Protecting Jewish Identity in Shaare Tefila Congregation v Cobb, by Annalise E Glauz-Todrank
Who Is a Jew? Reflections of an American Jewish Lawyer on the British Supreme Court Ruling Invalidating Jewish Religious Law, by Steven J Riekes
Inventing Jewish History, Culture, and Genetic Identity in Modern New Mexico, by Judith Neulander
“Jewish Genes”: Ancient Priests and Modern Jewish Identity, by Wesley K Sutton
Conversion in Transition: Practical, Conceptual, and Halachic Changes in Israel, by Naftali Rothenberg
Who Is a Jew in Israel?, by Netanel Fisher
Who Should Be a Jew? Conversion in the Diaspora and in the Modern Nation-State, by Michael J Broyde and Mark Goldfeder
Who Is a Samaritan?, by Menachem Mor
The Bene Israel and the “Who Is a Jew” Controversy in Israel, by Joseph R Hodes
Have We Ever Known What a Jew—or Judaean—Is?, by Ori Z Soltes
Will the “Real” Jew Please Stand Up! Karaites, Israelites, Kabbalists, Messianists, and the Politics of Identity, by Aaron J Hahn Tapper
German-Jewish Identity: Problematic Then, Problematic Now, by Steven Leonard Jacobs
“I Sometimes Think That I Grew Up on a Different Planet”: The Assimilated Jewish Community of the Warsaw Ghetto in the Letters of Wanda Lubelska and Hala Szwambaum, by Katarzyna Person
Creating a Community: Who Can Belong to the Reform Synagogue?, by Mara W Cohen Ioannides
The Birthright Israel Generation: Being a Jewish Young Adult in Contemporary America, by Matthew Boxer and Leonard Saxe