Who is a Jew?

An Introduction to a Complex Question

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Who is a Jew? What does it mean to be Jewish? To be honest Jewish identity is often unclear. When we speak of someone being a Jew are we referring to a religion,a culture, a nationality, or an ethnic group? It's a question that is asked within the Jewish community itself. Is Jewishness something that a person can possess without practicing Judaism? If it is not, then what expressions are authentically Jewish and which are not? Ninety percent of American Jews, for example, practice non-Orthodox forms of Judaism or practice no religion. Are they any less Jewish than those who are orthodox? What about those Jews who have abandoned Judaism and converted to another religion? Are they still Jewish?

The course includes the following sections:
1) Introduction
2) The View of Traditional Judaism
3) Rabbinic Texts
4) Biblical Views on Jewish Identity
5) Ethnicity
6) Conversion to Judaism
7) Jewish Identity and Beliefs
8) Apostasy and Jewish Status

Each section includes videos and/or audio mp3s plus downloadable PDFs and essays to complement the material covered.

This introductory course will provide the student with a basic understanding of all the components that make up Jewish identity and give them the foundation to understand religious and political discussions on Jewish identity.

Your Instructor

Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez
Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez

Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where he earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He studied at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland and received a Master of Arts Degree in Judaic Studies. He completed his doctoral studies at the Spertus Institute in Chicago in 2015. He studied at the American Seminary for Contemporary Judaism and received rabbinic ordination in 2011 from Yeshiva Mesilat Yesharim.

Rabbi Dr. Bejarano Gutierrez was a board member of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies from 2011-2013. He has published various articles in HaLapid, The Journal for Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto-Jews, and Apuntes-Theological Reflections from a Hispanic-Latino Context. He is the author of twenty books including What is Kosher?and What is Jewish Prayer?, Who is a Jew?, Secret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Judaism, and Against the Greeks, He is currently the director of the B’nai Anusim Center for Education at CryptoJewishEducation.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Thank you for taking this course. If there is any material you would like to see added to this course, drop us a comment and we will do our best to add your suggestion.

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