Sokolow's niece 'not Jewish enough' to marry here
After being told she needed to prove the Jewishness of her maternal lineage for four generations, Hillary Rubin is questioning her decision to move to Israel.
(Haaretz) -- by Raphael Ahren --
Hillary Rubin felt she was living out her ancestors' dream when she decided to move to Israel in 2006. Now she says she is being forced to leave the country to fulfill her own dream - getting married.
"Zionism runs in my family," the Detroit native says, adding that her grandfather's uncle was Zionist leader Nahum Sokolow.
But after filing for a wedding license and being told she needed to prove the Jewishness of her maternal lineage for four generations, she is wondering whether she made the right decision in immigrating to a Jewish state that doubts her Jewishness.
"I'm furious with this country right now," the 29-year-old international relations student told Anglo File this week. "I'm the great-great-niece of a prominent Zionist and I am always a supporter of this country, but this really frustrated me and I can totally understand why a lot of my Anglo friends left this country."
Rubin, who was raised in a Conservative household, produced letters from four Conservative rabbis and one Chabad rabbi attesting to her Jewishness. But the Herzliya Rabbinate said the letters were not enough and asked her to bring ketubot, or religious wedding contracts, as well as birth or death certificates of her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother.
"It was made very clear that without ketubot and without birth certificates from four generations, I would need to go to the Beit Din [local rabbinical court]," Rubin told Anglo File this week. "I told him, time and time again, that my grandparents are Shoah survivors [and thus their ketubot no longer exist] and I was told that wasn't his problem."
The Herzliya Rabbinate responded that it kept to strict standards "of Moses and Israel" for affirming one's faith.
There is no civil marriage in Israel, forcing couples to either go through a local Rabbinate or marry abroad. The Chief Rabbinate recently enacted new guidelines automatically sending marriage candidates whose parents did not wed in Israel to a local rabbinical court to determine whether they are really Jewish.
The new regulations do not specify which documents are needed to conclusively determine a person's Jewishness. It's likely that Rubin's letters would not have proven sufficient for them, according to a rabbi with knowledge of the system...MORE...LINK
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