There are so many things wrong with this article, I don’t even know where to begin. Yael Mishali writes: “In my view, an assimilated Jew is anyone whose Judaism has no significance in his own eyes. He was born Jewish, and now just leave him alone. In my view, an assimilated Jew is a type of gentile. Perhaps even worse.” WHAT THE…. And I’m not even going to comment on the writer’s idea of what constitutes conversion.
“Sub-Saharan Shabbat: Meet the first-generation Jews of Ghana” (Tablet Magazine)
“In 1974, prompted by the vision of an itinerant preacher, Joseph Armah and several other members of the Sefwi tribe in western Ghana declared themselves the descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel. This wasn’t as arbitrary as it sounds; for centuries, though unfamiliar with Judaism, the tribe had followed Jewish practices, performing circumcision a week after an infant’s birth, observing Shabbat, and excluding pork from their diet.
Their conversion raises interesting, if familiar, questions about who can legitimately call himself a Jew. But for Armah’s children, those questions don’t really matter. They are among the first generation of Ghanaians to be raised Jewish, and as such they must navigate for themselves what that means on a daily basis. Anna Boiko-Weyrauch spent a weekend with the Armah family, and sent us this dispatch.”
“Jewish-cemetery foes dig in” (New York Post)
A Jewish convert has filed a $1 million suit against a Bronx accountant who she says called her a “non-Jew” and told her she couldn’t be bured in Meretz Relief Association, a Jewish burial society whose members’ ancestors lived in the Lithuanian town of Merkine (Meretz in Yiddish).
“The Mask of the Marranos” (Commentary)
Allan Nadler writes: “Jewish historians have long been divided about the complex question of the Marranos’ “Jewishness.” At one pole is the so-called Jerusalem school of Jewish historiography, which has stubbornly maintained that, despite their centuries-long disconnection, the Marranos remained Jews in every meaningful respect. At the opposite pole are historians like Benzion Netanyahu (the 100-year-old father of the Israeli prime minister), who, giving weight to the overwhelming consensus of rabbinical opinion spanning almost five centuries, have insisted that in initially choosing baptism and later failing to take advantage of the opportunity to leave pre-Inquisition Portugal, the Marranos forfeited their membership in the Jewish nation and situated themselves outside Jewish history.
In an ambitious new work, the intellectual historian Yirmiyahu Yovel rejects both these -approaches, favoring instead a portrait of the Marranos as neither Jewish nor Christian but something sui generis—“the other within,” in the striking phrase that serves as the title of his book, the summa of his distinguished career as a scholar of Baruch Spinoza and premodern Jewry. More important, Yovel believes the phenomenon of Marranism marks a new and significant element in the Jewish historical narrative, one that anticipated the varieties of Jewish identity that would emerge in post-Enlightenment Europe.”
“Who is a Jew? The great debate” (The Jewish Chronicle)
The recent Court of Appeal ruling over school admissions has brought the issue of Jewish identity into sharp relief. Four thinkers, from across the communal spectrum, tackle the issue in a round table discussion with Gerald Jacobs.
“In the spotlight, rabbi gets to work” (Newsobserver.com)
“The world’s fist black female rabbi” Rabbi Alysa Stanton starts work at Congregation Bayt Shalom.
“The Inquisition: Full Circle” (Aish.com)
500 years after being forced to abandon Judaism, some descendents are starting to return.
“Former Baptist feels at home in Jewish faith” (Montgomeryadvertiser.com)
Dude converts to Judaism, his wife remains Catholic…erm, huh?
Crytpo-Jews won’t drive to shul because they’re afraid of immigration sweeps. Others tell them they can’t be Jewish and Mexican.
Infamous Belizean-American rapper converts in jail and finds his conversion story told in Rap Weekly.
“New Choices for New Jews” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles)
“American Jewish University (AJU) (in Los Angeles) is revamping its venerable Miller Introduction to Judaism program, which graduates about 200 students a year, many of whom go on to convert to Judaism. Meanwhile, Miller’s founder and director of 23 years, Rabbi Neil Weinberg, is leaving AJU to start his own program, Judaism by Choice, one of the country’s only independent conversion preparation programs, unattached to any movement.” Hmm.