Biological Discourse and American Jewish Identity

By Lynn Davidman, Shelly Tenenbaum

Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Fall 2007

The authors discuss the place of biological discourse in American Jewish life, especially amongst Jews unaffiliated with synagogues and adult children of intermarriages. Although a racial theory of Jewishness has been discredited, the authors explain that many modern American Jews often speak of Jewishness in terms of immutable, heritable characteristics. Among the possible reasons for this theme, the authors contend, is that if Jewishness is absolute and biological, then it cannot be increased or lessened by practice or belief; Jews can therefore claim full Jewish identity without participating in any rituals or practices.

Topic: Race, Culture, Jewish Identification, Study

Name of Publication: AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies

Volume/Issue: Fall 2007

Page Number(s): 30-32

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Genre: Report

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Davidman, Lynn. Tenenbaum, Shelly. Biological Discourse and American Jewish Identity. AJS Perspectives: The Magazine of the Association for Jewish Studies. Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Fall 2007: 30-32. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=2614


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