Ask the rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • General Questions

Who is a Jew?

undefined

Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Nisan 4, 5769
Question
I recently found out that my maternal grandmother was Jewish, but converted to Christianity as a toddler with her parents in Eastern Europe around 1913. I am baptized but do not practice. Unsatisfied with Christianity I have been thinking about Judaism even before I found this document regarding my grandmother’s conversion and the name change. Am I considered a Jew because of this bloodline or did I loose it by virtue of my family converting to Christianity and my own baptism? May I just return as a Jew, or do I need to convert like any other Christian would be required to? I have small children, what about them? Thanks you very much for your answer, it is very important to me.
Answer
Shalom Judaism is defined by the maternal line. If your mothers' mother was Jewish – you are so too. If your wife is Jewish so are your children. If this is the case I would recommend you speak to an orthodox rabbi of a near community so he can help you further along your journey. All the best
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il