Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q18.4.1 TOC Q18.4.3 >

Question 18.4.2:
Fallacy: Either patrilineal or matrilineal descent is accepted


If you examine the Report of the Committee on Patrilineal Descent on the Status of Children of Mixed Marriages (, you will see that, for the child of an interfaith marriage, merely having a Jewish parent is insufficient to make the child Jewish. Rather, the decision states that having only one Jewish parent gives the child a "presumption" of Jewish descent. The Jewish status, however, must be established through "appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith and people."

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>