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"Brit-Am Now"-1057
Contents:
1. Question on Converting to Judaism
2.
Kobler: Famous British Writers become Restorationists
3. Question on Spanish Jewish Ancestry.

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1. Question on Converting to Judaism
Question:
 

Yair,
I have a question. What is the Brit-Am view on the Jewish status of the "Lost Israelites" who make a return to Judaism? Does Brit-Am insist that Israelites rejoin the fold through the Orthodoxy and/or another branch of Judaism through formal conversion, in order to be considered a Jew?

Personally, I have been involved with Renewal and Reform.
Thanks for your time. A
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Answer:
Brit-Am as an organization does not insist on people returning to Judaism
and on the whole we do not encourage it.
If however someone out of their own recognition decides to become Jewish
we only recognize Orthodox Judaism.
Over the years we have encountered several cases of people who have converted to Judaism.
There is a tendency amongst some of them to identify completely with "Judah" and to put their
"Joseph-Ephraimite" past entirely behind them. This is their right and everyone needs to make their own personal
decisions. Nevertheless we would prefer that such converts maintain some contact with us
and retain something of an "Ephraimite" consciousness.
At one stage we envisaged a body of "Ephraimites" amongst "Judah" who would be a bridge
from one to the other. They would therefore serve as a means to associate Judah with the
existence of Joseph beyond the confines of existing religious differences. They would be a counter
or parallel influence to groups of Asians etc who claim to be from the Lost Ten Tribes and some of whom
in groups have converted to Judaism,
see our article:
"The Burma Blues"
http://britam.org/Burma.html
This however has not happened and does not seem likely to do so in the near future
even though most successful converts to Judaism still emerge mainly from
"Israelite" nations.
Together with this our understanding that a Biblically-acceptable solution will eventually be found has grown
but it is not our task to find it.
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2. Kobler: Famous British Writers become Restorationists
Franz Kobler
"The Vision Was There.
A History of the British Movement for the Restoration of the Jews to Palestine"
PART FOUR
DIFFERENTIATION AND SYNTHESIS
IV. THE VISIONS OF ROBERT BROWNING AND GEORGE ELIOT
http://www.britam.org/vision/koblerpart4.html#Visions
Extracts:
As a girl, Mary Ann Evans, the future George Eliot, witnessed the rise of Evangelicalism at close quarters....
Already in Romola (1863) and in The Spanish Gipsy (1868) she had pronounced the acceptance of
the duties imposed by one's origin to be the most sacred obligation of man. ...
With Deronda it arrived at a point where Restoration became identified with a return to the Hebrew heritage and the rebirth of Israel.
Secession from Judaism had become a great sin; acceptance of Jewish values the way of redemption...
George Eliot substituted critical self-examination for ecstatic identification and found a striking similarity between
the English and the Hebrew characters which "is only the more apparent when the elements of their peculiarity are discerned."
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3. Question on Spanish Jewish Ancestry:
B wrote:
 

Is it possible that some Jews could have migrated to Belgium or Spain as they were sold for slaves?
My first name is "(X)" and my ancestros name was H, they migrated to Guatemala C. A. in the 1840s but I cannot find any information about that data. I've been told that by the meaning of my first name I belong to the royalty of David, could that be possible?
How can I find some information about my identity?
Thanks,
B

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Answer:
Regarding Jews of Spanish Descent we cannot tell you very much concerning specific names BUT there are quite a few good web sites and discussion groups dedicated to these issues.
Do a Search on Sephardim Geneaology etc and you should come up with quite a few useful addresses whose people are often most willing to help anyway they can.
First names usually do not mean much as far as ancestry is concerned.
Even so several families descended from David were to be found amongst the Jews of Spain and you could be related to one of them. It may be worth checking.



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