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Beyond Belief: What Constitutes Jewishness?

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Beyond Belief’ looking at how we determine who is and who isn’t Jewish.

The programme looks at the question in the context of a controversial High Court ruling on the admission policy of the Jewish Free School in London two years ago has led to heated and ongoing discussion among Jews in this country about what constitutes Jewishness. With the number of Jews in Britain declining, the question of how to preserve and pass on Judaism is a major preoccupation of members the community, be they Orthodox, Reform or secular.

So what should be the test for determining who is and isnt Jewish? How important is religious practice, observing a kosher table or male circumcision? And how important is it for the preservation of Jewishness that a Jew should marry another Jew?

The programme also features Rabbi Natan Levy of Shenley United Jewish Community; and Dr Brian Klug Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford, and author of “Being Jewish and Doing Justice”.

You can listen to the programme here at the BBC website.

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