Letter: According Jewish status to children

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your report 'High Court to rule on baptism rights' (24 July) states that Liberal Jews 'believe a child is Jewish when born if either parent is Jewish'. This needs a slight amplification. As you state, Orthodox Jews recognise a child as Jewish only if the mother is. Liberal Judaism considers that in according Jewish status to the child of a mixed marriage, consideration has to be given not only to parental religion, but also to environment and education. We will help in every way to encourage such parents to raise the child as a Jew and to facilitate a Jewish education. Formal recognition takes place at a later date.

Furthermore, we will assist any adult with one Jewish and one non-Jewish parent whose parents did not provide an upbringing and education that meets our requirements. If such a person has identified himself or herself with the Jewish community for a considerable period of time, we would provide whatever course of instruction is deemed necessary, so that he or she can obtain that education and formalise his or her status.

Yours faithfully,


Director, Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues

London, W1