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WHO IS A JEW?

October 17, 1984



THE DEBATE IN ISRAEL: The term ''Jew'' is not defined in the ''law of return,'' which entitles any Jew to immediate Israeli citizenship. A bill proposed this year in the Israeli parliament would amend the ''law of return'' to define a Jew as either a person born of a Jewish mother, or a person converted to Judaism by an Orthodox rabbi. So anyone converted to Judaism by a Reform or Conservative rabbi would not be recognized as a Jew by Israel.

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The proposal has been bitterly attacked by American Reform and Conservative rabbis, whose movements include the bulk of American Jews.