Jokes aside, a Jewish mother is a Jewish woman who mothers a Jew. This seems simple. Apparently, it isn’t.
What if, Caren Chesler posited not-so-hypothetically in today’s New York Times, a Jewish couple tries to have a baby through a donor egg–and the donor of the egg isn’t Jewish? This was Chesler’s situation. Since the 1990s, Chesler writes, Jewish authorities have agreed that the bearing mother, not the woman providing the gametes, is to be considered as the mother in this situation. But there are now rabbis in Israel voicing the idea that if the egg donor is not Jewish, then neither is the child until the child is converted, regardless of the mother’s religion. Read the rest of this entry →