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Katy Cordeth's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Katy Cordeth

Comment 13 by jbkaffe :

I'm not american, but one thing has always puzzled me about american "jews".

Why do they insist on calling themselves "jewish" when they are american citizens.

For the same reason many Americans define themselves as Irish-American, Italian-American, African-American, Gay-American or any of the myriad others: to belong to a group which shares some sort of cultural identity.

America, at least until recently, prided itself on being a nation of immigrants; a melting pot. People arriving in the New World, finding themselves strangers in a strange land, would naturally want to gravitate towards those who spoke the same language, wore the same clothes and worshipped the same god.

It should be emphasised that Jewishness is regarded as a racial characteristic. Jewish identity is less about personal beliefs and more about one's parentage. It doesn't matter what you believe; if your momma was Jewish, then you are too.

Fri, 11 May 2012 09:03:48 UTC | #940990