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Julie Wiener, in typically brilliant fashion, has written a great piece on the “Who is a Jew?” debate as seen through the eyes of her 3 1/2-year-old daughter:
In her personal and humorous fashion, Julie points out the ridiculousness of the whole Jewish obsession over who is a Jew while also pointing out the difficulties interfaith families face in defining themselves. Just because you’re aware of the ridiculousness of society doesn’t mean you can escape it.
A perhaps even more (unintentionally) comic look at the “Who is a Jew?” debate comes from JTA. This recent story details how the Nicaraguan Jewish community is split after “two people whom some consider non-Jews were elected to the board” of directors of the community. The catch? There are only 50 Jews in Nicaragua.
Beyond the ridiculousness of having an elected board of directors for a Jewish community smaller than an NFL roster–to each their own–can anyone in a community that small afford to question whether another member is Jewish, especially if they’re committed enough to want to serve on a volunteer board? Not that the Orthodox are the ultimate arbiters of all questions of Jewish identity, but witness this quote from a previous board president, Max Najman, who heads one of two Orthodox households in the country:
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