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Who's a Jew? Redefining Jewish Identity for the 21st Century

The Huffington Post - There is arguably no more challenging question for the Jewish community than, "Who's a Jew?" It continually arises, over issues ranging from politics (most recently, the ultra-Orthodox control over Israeli conversions) to entertainment and even sports (is Amar'e or isn't he?). One thing is certain: the overwhelming majority of Jews globally were born into it. There's more than a little truth to the expression "members of the tribe."

For those not born Jewish, joining the Jewish religion requires overcoming high barriers, even within the more liberal streams of Judaism. To put it in its simplest terms: for men, blood must be drawn. Get past the circumcision, the studying, and the meetings with rabbis to become an official Jew, and there is often still, shamefully, some other Jew questioning a convert's sincerity or authenticity. Read more.


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