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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 21387
Experience:  M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
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I was raised Jewish, per my mothers insistance (my father

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I was raised Jewish, per my mother's insistance (my father is a Jehovah's Witness). My mother has always told me that she was Jewish, and said that she had been her entire life. My mother had little contact with her family until I found them a few years ago. Come to find out, my mother came home from her first year of college (in Hastings, NE) and told the family she was now Jewish. My aunt and cousins have confirmed that our family is Protestant, and confirmed that they all remember Christmases at our grandparents home. Additionally, my aunt (my mom's older sister) remembers when my mother was baptized. So this is twofold: 1) Am I really Jewish? 2) Is there someplace where Baptismal records are kept?
HiCustomer and thanks for your question.

In the Jewish religion, the child is considered Jewish, if born of a Jewish mother. If your mother was born Protestant (according to her family), and converted to Judaism during her first year of college, if she had a 'proper' conversion, she was Jewish when you were born, making you Jewish, too. If she decided to follow the Jewish religion after her first year of college, but was not officially 'converted' to Judaism, technically you are not Jewish by birth, but if you were raised in this religion, it's the only thing you know, and you choose to continue to follow it, it's your choice.

If it turns out, according to your mother's family's information, that your mother was definitely not born Jewish, you may choose to officially become Jewish by consulting with a Rabbi in your local synagogue, explaining your situation, and do a modified 'conversion', including the final step, which is a 'mikvah' or ritual bath. This is entirely up to you, and is not necessary for you to continue practicing the religion and raising your own children as Jewish, if this is relevant to your situation and important to you. Judaism is steeped in tradition and the passing down of knowledge from one generation to another.

Baptismal records are usually kept in the church where the baptism was performed. If your mother's family knows the name of the church where she was baptized, this would be a good starting point for you to locate the baptismal certificate for your mother, if one exists.

I wish you much good luck and hope everything works out well for you!

Please let me know if you need any further assistance by simply clicking 'reply' and I will respond as soon as I'm next online.

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