Who is Jewish?

tjb@acpub.duke.edu
Tue, 8 Apr 1997 01:45:20 -0400

I've been trying to obtain an authoritative answer on the following
questions, but the answers I've gotten have varied.

Is there an authoritative answer somewhere with references to support it?

* If a Jewish woman (born of a Jewish mother, raised in a Jewish family)
converts to Christianity, is she still Jewish?
* Are children born after her conversion Jewish?
* If these children decide to practice Judaism, do they need to undergo a
conversion ceremony or some other ritual?

I've spoken with Rabbis who have said this woman is very clearly Jewish and
they could not imagine anyone disagreeing, and another who says this woman
is clearly no longer Jewish and they would not expect any disagreement with
this answer either.

I spent a few hours in the library trying to look up a definitive answer in
a textbook of Judaism but haven't found such an answer. Can anyone help? Or
is this in fact simply a question on which there are different opinions?

Tom