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Who is a Jew?

Found this article by Rabbi Michael Chernick interesting. He was a professor at Hebrew Union College, holds a doctorate from YU, and is based in Teaneck, New Jersey! This article in his blog at the Times of Israel addresses the Chief rabbinate and diaspora Jews, and the question: who is a Jew? His bio says he regards himself as a “Jew for all Jews.” :)

Full article:

"Since Orthodox rules are in force for Israelis who wish to marry, a person’s choice of spouse may be limited. For example, if a kohen wants to marry a convert or divorcee, he will find his way blocked. Such marriages are not permitted according to traditional Jewish law, which is what the Chief Rabbinate follows. The Rabbinate also maintains a database of who may or may not marry a fellow Jew for easy reference, should any of those people apply to the office for marriage."

"Essentially, such a monopoly implies that Israel recognizes Orthodox Judaism as the only legitimate form of Jewish religious expression. That being the case, the message delivered by Israel to Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Jews and their rabbis is that they practice a second-class form of Judaism, or perhaps no Judaism at all. Yet the majority of affiliated Jews in America belong to one or another of these movements."