"Barry Goldwater. (Yeah, he counts, Episcopalian or no -- see grandfather Big Mike Goldwasser; "
Well, being a New Yawker, I'm curious about this Adam Sandler-esque definition of whom can be "claimed" as being Jewish. The strick definition is being born of a Jewish mother
( which , I assume ,is the reason why you've made a point of mentioning your wife's conversion; so you're childen can be condiered "legally" Jewish according to Hebrew law? )
and being raised in atleast a culturally jewish home.
I mention this because you've rekindled the memory of all the contravercy stirred up in the American jewish community over former Sect of State Madeline Albright whom , it was reported , it discovered that she was of Euro-Jewish heritage, but she said she had no memory of knowledge of her being Jewish and was raised in some other denomination for which she was vilified by some commentators; Watergate reporter/commentator Daniel Shore I remember particularly with a scathing criticism on NPRas if what she did as a crime against "her people"
This raises the issue of Nature/Nurture and the subsequent questioni of:
Is being Jewish a *race* first ( which *no* can join. Try *converting* to Japanese ) and thus bloodlines are *the* deciding factor which is suggested by the *born of a Jewish mother* requirement , or is the archetypal monotheism that is the core of their great body of beliefs, and thus their bright shining contribution to mankind , *the* determinant factor?
Furthermore if the Jews continually attribute their most accomplished uniqueness of place in the human family to their sacred beliefs as a *chosen people* ,then does that not make aetheistic, so-called *cultural Jews*, considerably *disenfranchised* from what originally made them "chosen" and , thus , reduces Jewishness to be purely based upon "tribal bloodlines" which unavoidably carries with it all of the built-in historical pathologies that have always come from a culture of "un-alloyed* human nature?