By Vicki Boykis
I play with the idea of making aliyah from time to time, much like kids play with Legos, abandon them, then pick them up, then tear their heads off. But, I’m not religious and plus I was born in Russia. So my question is with this whole Law of Return thing. How do you prove you’re Jewish to the State of Israel if you’re not a religious Jew and don’t have videotaped, painstaking documentation of your brit milah or your parents’ ketubah or your kippah monogrammed kippah from Dov and Racheli’s wedding?
The actual law states:
Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh.
The law goes on further to define,
For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a
Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.
What’s more, is apparently even Israelis have trouble proving they’re halachically Jewish in Israel.
So, how do you prove you’re Jewish for aliyah purposes? Do you have to make a bagel in five mintues or less? Recite some Sholom Aleichem? And, I’m curious to know if any Jews from countries other than America (hey, Canada counts, too) have had to go through this process?