Friday, February 29, 2008

Who's a Jew?

Incredible piece in the New York Times Magazine about the Israeli Rabbinate insisting that Jews go to incredible lengths to prove their religion to get married.

This is why the United States has secular marriage: to prevent religious groups from co-opting the state's criteria for civil marriage. What's most incredible about this situation is that it is dividing the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel and the Orthodox Jews in the United States. If the existing fissures among movements weren't enough, the Israeli Rabbinate is insistent on creating more.

Arnie Eisen, chancellor of the American Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary puts is well when he says that: “All the data shows a growing rift between American Jews and Israeli Jews, and the younger you are as an American Jew, the less that you care about the state of Israel. This is just terrible. And one of the reasons for it — not the only reason, but one of the reasons for it — is this kind of insulting treatment of the majority of American Jews by the Israeli rabbinate.”

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