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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Jewish ethnicity
« on: January 17, 2012, 09:01:51 PM »
Hello!

I have some questions about the Jewish ethnicity...

My grandfather was from Slovakia (near Bratislava, I believe).  His family was Roman Catholic, but I'm told he had a very Jewish ancestry.

1.  Is this part of my ancestry Slovak, or Jewish (Israeli)?

2. Are people who are mixed European/Jewish (white) considered bi-racial?


The question of heritage and ethnicity comes up alot with my friends, and I'm very curious about this part.


Thanks!!!


(Also, just throwing this out there, I am 100% against Zionism.  Please no hateful Anti-semetic comments, that's not what this thread is for. :)


I haven't posted a new thread in a while.  I hope you all are having a wonderful new year!

Offline LBK

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 09:04:59 PM »
We're all mongrels in this world, Trevor. There is no such thing as "pure-bred".  ;)
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 09:07:16 PM »
We're all mongrels in this world, Trevor. There is no such thing as "pure-bred".  ;)

I understand that.

Most of my friends act like they are (their 100% "brown pride")  ::)

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 08:49:30 AM »
Trevor, there is a possibility. . . there were a few groups of Jewish refugees from Europe that came to America and had the 'face' of being Catholic while holding as much of their own remembrances as they could.  My great grand mother married a Catholic in order to 'blend in'.  Because there was so much hiding. . .and covering up, it's very difficult to get any information of any depth.  I know very little about my grandmother - cannot find any birth records, marriage records - yet I know my grandfather was here. . .and what he stated (when pressed).  My father grew up in a Jewish neighborhood.  My grandfather practiced no faith to the knowledge of anyone - my grandmother was Catholic and raised my father RC. 

So while there is a possibility - the amount of information you will be able to gather might be very slim pickings. 
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 11:13:42 AM »
Trevor, there is a possibility. . . there were a few groups of Jewish refugees from Europe that came to America and had the 'face' of being Catholic while holding as much of their own remembrances as they could.  My great grand mother married a Catholic in order to 'blend in'.  Because there was so much hiding. . .and covering up, it's very difficult to get any information of any depth.  I know very little about my grandmother - cannot find any birth records, marriage records - yet I know my grandfather was here. . .and what he stated (when pressed).  My father grew up in a Jewish neighborhood.  My grandfather practiced no faith to the knowledge of anyone - my grandmother was Catholic and raised my father RC. 

So while there is a possibility - the amount of information you will be able to gather might be very slim pickings. 

I see, thanks.  Another reason I'd like to find out more about this part of my ancestry is because I'm starting to search for scholarships, and there are many scholarships for people with even a little Jewish/Israeli ancestry  :)

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 11:28:29 AM »
Trevor, there is a possibility. . . there were a few groups of Jewish refugees from Europe that came to America and had the 'face' of being Catholic while holding as much of their own remembrances as they could.  My great grand mother married a Catholic in order to 'blend in'.  Because there was so much hiding. . .and covering up, it's very difficult to get any information of any depth.  I know very little about my grandmother - cannot find any birth records, marriage records - yet I know my grandfather was here. . .and what he stated (when pressed).  My father grew up in a Jewish neighborhood.  My grandfather practiced no faith to the knowledge of anyone - my grandmother was Catholic and raised my father RC. 

So while there is a possibility - the amount of information you will be able to gather might be very slim pickings. 

I see, thanks.  Another reason I'd like to find out more about this part of my ancestry is because I'm starting to search for scholarships, and there are many scholarships for people with even a little Jewish/Israeli ancestry  :)

Unfortunately, you would have to prove it with some sort of documentation - and the documentation, especially for those who came over during WW2 and went into hiding is incredibly difficult if not impossible to find. 

But it's worth the try.  You might want to contact the financial aide department and find out what kind of documentation is necessary to claim Jewish ancestry - then maybe you will have at least an idea of what kind of search will be needed.  My brother, who converted to Judaism took years to try to find out about our family.  He was able to verify that our great grandmother was indeed Jewish - but was not able to get the documents required to allow for certain rites to take place in his conversion. 
In His Mercy,
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Offline Nadege

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 12:13:50 AM »
Are people who are mixed European/Jewish (white) considered bi-racial?
I always list myself as white.  I am 1/4 Ashkenazi Jewish, 1/8 German, and the rest Russian.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 12:14:08 AM by Nadege »

Offline J Michael

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 11:05:39 AM »
"Israeli" is a nationality or citizenship, not an ethnic group.  There are Israeli Jews, Israeli Muslims, Israeli Christians, black Israelis, Caucasian Israelis, etc., etc., etc.

"Jewish" is a religion AND an ethnic group with several ethnic divisions within it.
Quote
Jewish ethnic divisions refers to a number of distinctive communities within the world's ethnically Jewish population. Although considered one single self-identifying ethnicity, there are distinctive ethnic divisions among Jews, most of which are primarily the result of geographic branching from an originating Israelite population, and subsequent independent evolutions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_ethnic_divisions

Ethnicity and race are not synonymous, afaik. http://www.differencebetween.net/science/nature/difference-between-ethnicity-and-race/
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 11:47:48 AM »
The question of heritage and ethnicity comes up alot with my friends

You have weird friends.

Offline Gamliel

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 02:13:22 PM »
What makes it even more complicated, is that other races can convert to Judaism, so one can be 100% a non-Jewish nationality, and then convert to Judaism and consider oneself Jewish.

Offline J Michael

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 02:26:34 PM »
What makes it even more complicated, is that other races can convert to Judaism, so one can be 100% a non-Jewish nationality, and then convert to Judaism and consider oneself Jewish.

Ain't life interesting  ;)?
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Offline mike

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2013, 02:32:08 PM »
The question of heritage and ethnicity comes up alot with my friends

You have weird friends.

I was approached by a guy on facebook. He wanted me to help with his trip to Poland. He wrote he is "looking for his roots" and he discovered his ancestors were Neyry people.

The problem was all I know about them is that they were described by Herodot or other similarly historian, as the ones who were able to willingly transform between human and lupine form. I really wanted to ask him whether he still can do that.

Offline J Michael

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2013, 02:38:45 PM »
The question of heritage and ethnicity comes up alot with my friends

You have weird friends.

I was approached by a guy on facebook. He wanted me to help with his trip to Poland. He wrote he is "looking for his roots" and he discovered his ancestors were Neyry people.

The problem was all I know about them is that they were described by Herodot or other similarly historian, as the ones who were able to willingly transform between human and lupine form. I really wanted to ask him whether he still can do that.

LOL! 
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2013, 03:08:15 PM »
1.  Is this part of my ancestry Slovak, or Jewish (Israeli)?

Slovakia and Israel are polities. Since you can't be from "Jewish", and Israel is a very young state (probably younger than your grandfather), I would say you're an American of Slovak heritage.

Quote
2. Are people who are mixed European/Jewish (white) considered bi-racial?

No. Or at least I don't think so outside of certain Zionist circles who want to push "Semitic" origins of people who were mostly converts of Central and Eastern European origins for political purposes. I mean, since you obviously have everyone from Yemeni and Iraqi Jews (i.e., actual Middle Eastern/Semitic people), to the Beta Israel/Falasha of Ethiopia, to Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese, "Sephardic") people, to even whiter folks claiming "Jewish Ethnicity", it seems completely elective and more of a political statement than anything if someone decides to identify as ethnically Jewish.

So I guess a more precise answer could be: No, of course not...but also yes, depending. But it's important to realize this "bi-racial" identity isn't quite like others...if you're half black and half white, or half Latino and half whatever, you probably deal with issues of being able to "pass" for one or the other, whereas people who choose "Jewish and something else" are making an elective choice to claim an identity that has no sure phenotypical or cultural/linguistic markers that might cause them difficulty. I was friends with a Jewish guy of Polish and Ukrainian origins in college and after he told me that he's not really "into" the whole Judaism as a religion thing, but prefers to practice Buddhism, I asked him how it was that he still identified as Jewish. His reply was very telling: "Well, my mom was Jew, and that's how it's passed down, and it's neat to have another culture in my background...plus, I can go to Israel whenever I want."

I don't recall any of the other "bi-racial" people I have known describing their background as "neat" because it gets them automatic citizenship in a country they otherwise don't care about. Usually it's the other way around, where you're too X to be Y, but not X enough to be X.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 03:11:39 PM by dzheremi »

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2013, 03:09:30 PM »
Hello!

I have some questions about the Jewish ethnicity...

My grandfather was from Slovakia (near Bratislava, I believe).  His family was Roman Catholic, but I'm told he had a very Jewish ancestry.

1.  Is this part of my ancestry Slovak, or Jewish (Israeli)?

2. Are people who are mixed European/Jewish (white) considered bi-racial?


The question of heritage and ethnicity comes up alot with my friends, and I'm very curious about this part.


Thanks!!!


(Also, just throwing this out there, I am 100% against Zionism.  Please no hateful Anti-semetic comments, that's not what this thread is for. :)


I haven't posted a new thread in a while.  I hope you all are having a wonderful new year!

You asking about all this ethnicity stuff demonstrates your ethnicity is Native American.

Deal with it.
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Offline Anastasia1

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 05:34:56 PM »
If you are in the US, you are straight up white as far as the gov is concerned. Jews and other semitic people are considered white here. (Even when it seems stupid in comparison to other groupings in the gov.)

As far as heritage is concerned, it is entirely possible that someone with European heritage has Jewish heritage too, even if it does not show. As state, you would need documents to prove this for Jewish organizations to provide help to you as a "Jew". I imagine this may synagogue documents or Jewish cemetery documents or something along those lines combined with birth or marriage certificates.

As stated already, Judaism is passed down through the mother (unless it is Kariate Judaism which is patrilineal, non-Talmudic, and does not on it's own meet Israeli conversation requirements because they go more by faith that formal conversion). That might be something to be aware of.

Keep searching. If you (ethnically) Jewish, you may qualify for things that have ethnic or cultural scholarships. I would encourage you to make use of it for scholarships, at least as long as you give a care for it.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2013, 11:14:40 PM »
Hello!

I have some questions about the Jewish ethnicity...

My grandfather was from Slovakia (near Bratislava, I believe).  His family was Roman Catholic, but I'm told he had a very Jewish ancestry.

1.  Is this part of my ancestry Slovak, or Jewish (Israeli)?

2. Are people who are mixed European/Jewish (white) considered bi-racial?


The question of heritage and ethnicity comes up alot with my friends, and I'm very curious about this part.


Thanks!!!


(Also, just throwing this out there, I am 100% against Zionism.  Please no hateful Anti-semetic comments, that's not what this thread is for. :)


I haven't posted a new thread in a while.  I hope you all are having a wonderful new year!

You asking about all this ethnicity stuff demonstrates your ethnicity is Native American.

Deal with it.

That reminds me of a Simpsons episode wherein Lisa says something like, "They're Native Americans!"
"Like me!" Homer says.
"No. American Indians," Lisa says.
"Like me," Apu says.
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Offline Anastasia1

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 01:12:19 AM »
That reminds me of a Simpsons episode wherein Lisa says something like, "They're Native Americans!"
"Like me!" Homer says.
"No. American Indians," Lisa says.
"Like me," Apu says.
Love it.
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 03:20:16 AM »
If you are in the US, you are straight up white as far as the gov is concerned. Jews and other semitic people are considered white here. (Even when it seems stupid in comparison to other groupings in the gov.)
Not necessarily.  For example. Ethiopian Jews would be considered black, Asian Jews would be Asian, etc.  I went to the synagogue a month ago and learned all about this stuff.  European Jews are only a portion of the wider Jewish community, which comes in all races.

I've done some study, and my grandfather is indeed partly of Ashkenazic Jewish descent.  I understand all of this now.  As we're not Jewish, he's of Slovak descent for all intents and purposes.

I wish I would've just googled this stuff instead of making a whole thread about it.  :-[
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 03:20:40 AM by Tikhon.of.Colorado »

Offline Anastasia1

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 03:31:49 AM »
If you are in the US, you are straight up white as far as the gov is concerned. Jews and other semitic people are considered white here. (Even when it seems stupid in comparison to other groupings in the gov.)
Not necessarily.  For example. Ethiopian Jews would be considered black, Asian Jews would be Asian, etc.  I went to the synagogue a month ago and learned all about this stuff.  European Jews are only a portion of the wider Jewish community, which comes in all races.

I've done some study, and my grandfather is indeed partly of Ashkenazic Jewish descent.  I understand all of this now.  As we're not Jewish, he's of Slovak descent for all intents and purposes.

I wish I would've just googled this stuff instead of making a whole thread about it.  :-[
And one day, someone will google something similar, and this thread will come up, and it will help them in their search for understanding...

True about Ethiopian and Asian Jews. I tend to think only of Semitic Hebrews when I think of racial classifications.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2013, 05:03:41 AM »
I don't get it; isn't Jewish just a religion? There are many people who have this odd conception as if it were a race or ethnic group. Why are Jews considered special or something in regards to people's ancestory? My uncle was a Buddhist, but it really means nothing.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2013, 08:17:23 AM »
Buddhism isn't an ethnic religion whereas various native religions often are. Judaism is a native religion of Jews and therefore it has traits of ethnic religion too even though concept of Jew has become ethnically diverse over the centuries.


Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2013, 09:35:41 AM »
Buddhism isn't an ethnic religion whereas various native religions often are. Judaism is a native religion of Jews and therefore it has traits of ethnic religion too even though concept of Jew has become ethnically diverse over the centuries.


Alpo is totally correct.  The Jews (for the most part) see themselves all as descendants of the original Israelites, being sent here or there by this or that tyrant from the holy land.  They all see themselves as one people, with their own religion (Judaism) that defines them.

Offline mike

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2013, 12:52:43 PM »
I'm still waiting for someone to post that Khazars are not real Jews and real Jews ard now Muslims and it's all big conspiracy...

Offline J Michael

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2013, 01:06:44 PM »
I'm still waiting for someone to post that Khazars are not real Jews and real Jews ard now Muslims and it's all big conspiracy...

I think you just did.  ;D
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Jewish ethnicity
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2013, 01:26:44 PM »
I'm still waiting for someone to post that Khazars are not real Jews and real Jews ard now Muslims and it's all big conspiracy...
Please let's not start that.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 01:27:57 PM by Tikhon.of.Colorado »