Who is a Jew? An Introduction to a Complex Question

Who is a Jew? What does it mean to be Jewish? To be honest Jewish identity is often unclear. When we speak of someone being a Jew are we referring to a religion, a culture, a nationality, or an ethnic group? It’s a question that is asked within the Jewish community itself. Is Jewishness something that a person can possess without practicing Judaism? If it is not, then what expressions are authentically Jewish and which are not? Ninety percent of American Jews, for example, practice non-Orthodox forms of Judaism or practice no religion. Are they any less Jewish than those who are orthodox? What about those Jews who have abandoned Judaism and converted to another religion? Are they still Jewish?

I have put together a course that addresses these questions titled

Who is a Jew? An Introduction to a Complex Question

This is the first in a series of online courses I hope to release in the coming year.

The course includes the following sections:
1) Introduction
2) The View of Traditional Judaism
3) Rabbinic Texts
4) Biblical Views on Jewish Identity
5) Ethnicity
6) Conversion to Judaism
7) Jewish Identity and Beliefs
8) Apostasy and Jewish Status
9) Supplemental Resources including a Bonus Copy of Who is a Jew? and Conflicted Identities.

Each section includes videos and/or audio mp3s plus downloadable PDFs and essays to complement the material covered.

This introductory course will provide the student with a basic understanding of all the components that make up Jewish identity and give them the foundation to understand religious and political discussions on Jewish identity.

To sign up follow the link below:


Posted by Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education.

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