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Old 04-28-2013, 06:02 PM
 
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My parents moved to Italy from the UK during the 1920's. Me and my siblings were raised as Catholic however when we got older our parents revealed facts about their life in Italy. Simply put they used to be Jewish. My father was born to Sephardi Jews who converted to Catholicism although they retained some traditions such as his name Raffaele which was originally Reafeli which is Hebrew. My mother's story is more nuanced; her father was an Italian catholic of Jewish origin going back to forced conversions by the Inquistion whilst her mother was an Austrian Jew with the surname Fischer which is a common jewish name. Both my parents concealed this in Italy by adopting new surnames. When they moved to England they were nicknamed Ebreos (italian for jews) by their fellow immigrants.And we lived near Golders Green a heavily Jewish populated area so unsurprisingly we used to visit quite often. When me and my sister went shopping there people used to speak to us in Yiddish and when we responded in English they always used to be so shocked and say "But you look really Jewish!" To be fair we all have the stereotypical looks that people ascribe to Jews; big noses, large foreheads, etc so its not really shocking for people to think so. Even to this day in both Italy and England Jews speak to me in Hebrew or Yiddish. However, am I actually Jewish?It seems so tenuous to call myself Jewish. I'm grateful for any of your views
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:35 PM
 
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Jewishness is passed down matrilineally. If your mother is the daughter of a Jewish mother, who is the daughter of a Jewish mother... you are as Jewish as Moses and all the black hatters you encountered in Golders Green. So you'd have to research a bit more. The surname "Fisher", although a popular Jewish name, is in itself not proof enough, but hey you never know.

In Deuteronomy 7:1-5, in expressing the prohibition against intermarriage, G-d says "he [ie, the non-Jewish male spouse] will cause your child to turn away from Me and they will worship the gods of others." No such concern is expressed about the child of a non-Jewish female spouse. From this, we infer that the child of a non-Jewish male spouse is Jewish (and can therefore be turned away from Judaism), but the child of a non-Jewish female spouse is not Jewish (and therefore turning away is not an issue).


Leviticus 24:10 speaks of the son of an Israelite woman and an Egyptian man as being "among the community of Israel" (i.e., a Jew).
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:00 PM
 
Location: small Southern town balabusta
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You might be. There's no way of telling. Jews don't look all alike anymore. (I hate the physical stereotype you describe, but you didn't mean any harm. I think we are beautiful.) Anyway, you'd have to convert to be certain, and do an Orthodox conversion so you will be 110% certain. It's not for the faint of heart, but then you can call yourself Jewish and no one will disagree.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Yes. If your maternal line is Jewish then you are Jewish. If you can actually find physical proof of maternal lineage then you can become an Israeli citizen.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Actually for the purposes of aliyah (immigration to Israel as a Jew) all you need to prove is that one of your grandparents (doesn't matter which one) is Jewish
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:36 AM
 
111 posts, read 133,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
Jewishness is passed down matrilineally. If your mother is the daughter of a Jewish mother, who is the daughter of a Jewish mother... you are as Jewish as Moses and all the black hatters you encountered in Golders Green. So you'd have to research a bit more. The surname "Fisher", although a popular Jewish name, is in itself not proof enough, but hey you never know.

In Deuteronomy 7:1-5, in expressing the prohibition against intermarriage, G-d says "he [ie, the non-Jewish male spouse] will cause your child to turn away from Me and they will worship the gods of others." No such concern is expressed about the child of a non-Jewish female spouse. From this, we infer that the child of a non-Jewish male spouse is Jewish (and can therefore be turned away from Judaism), but the child of a non-Jewish female spouse is not Jewish (and therefore turning away is not an issue).


Leviticus 24:10 speaks of the son of an Israelite woman and an Egyptian man as being "among the community of Israel" (i.e., a Jew).
We have pictures of her at a jewish wedding as well as an old piece of italian documentation that state her relibion as judaism
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:40 AM
 
111 posts, read 133,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruzhany View Post
Yes. If your maternal line is Jewish then you are Jewish. If you can actually find physical proof of maternal lineage then you can become an Israeli citizen.
We have an old piece of italian documentation that state her relibion as judaism
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:46 AM
 
111 posts, read 133,043 times
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Originally Posted by 1+1=5 View Post
You might be. There's no way of telling. Jews don't look all alike anymore. (I hate the physical stereotype you describe, but you didn't mean any harm. I think we are beautiful.) Anyway, you'd have to convert to be certain, and do an Orthodox conversion so you will be 110% certain. It's not for the faint of heart, but then you can call yourself Jewish and no one will disagree.
Would documentation of jewish ancestry be useful when converting?
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Originally Posted by bellr098 View Post
Would documentation of jewish ancestry be useful when converting?
You are what you are. There is no converting to what you already are.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:50 AM
 
111 posts, read 133,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruzhany View Post
You are what you are. There is no converting to what you already are.
So I'm jewish?
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