Recognising patrilineal descent is overdue - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Sean Aaron
    • 08.02.11 | 18:47 (IST)

    My daughter has a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. Though I'm not a religious man or part of a congregation I identify as Jewish ethnically and culturally and I've made a point of reading Jewish history and learning Hebrew. At age 7 my daughter already enjoys bed-time reading of the Hebrew-English picture dictionary I got for her at Hanukah some years ago. In fact I've been surprised at the level of interest she's continued to exhibit and I've promised to teach her the aleph-bet and refresh my own Hebrew by doing lessons with her. Beyond that I tell her of our history and I'm hoping to take her to Israel on holiday within the next year. Ultimately I regard her as a Jew as much as I am and yet despite this according to the rabbinate in Israel she isn't Jewish. I'm satisfied that she would be able to make aliyah if she desired, but I don't understand limiting Jewishness to matrilineal descent - an archaic and limiting distinction that no longer seems to serve any purpose. Jewish laws aren't ironclad - they have changed over the centuries and millennia. It's time to officially recognise that fathers have as much a role to play in the Jewishness of children as their mothers.

    from the article: Expanding the tribe in the home of the brave
    First published 00:50 08.02.11 | Last updated 00:50 08.02.11
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