Who Is a Jew?
Conversations, Not Conclusions
By Meryl Hyman
(Jewish Lights Publishing, Paperback, 9781580230520, 272pp.)
Publication Date: May 1999
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Sure to generate great controversy as it provides new insights, "Who Is a Jew?" courageously takes on this timely and controversial question. It provides the full range of perspectives necessary to let us draw our own conclusions. A seasoned journalist, Meryl Hyman weaves her own life experiences into this complex and controversial subject, exploring profound and highly personal questions of identity in conversations with Jew and non-Jew. The daughter of a Jewish father and a Christian mother, she set out to find out why so many Jews say she is not a Jew, even though she has practiced Judaism and identified herself as a Jew since birth. She found a people struggling with its own history, customs, and laws; a people who fear that their unity may be sacrificed. Featured in "Who Is a Jew?" are leaders from all parts of the Jewish world, eminent scholars, and others from all spectrums of belief from Israel, England, and the United States who speak out on the subject and delve into such questions as: What are the many-faceted "answers" to this seemingly simple question? Why are these answers crucial for all Jews? Why does Jewish identity have a bearing on all cultural, religious, and ethnic groups? Why and how does Israel's answer to the question matter to Jews everywhere in the world?