Religion or ethnicity question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by abrownlths, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. abrownlths

    abrownlths Member

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    Quick question and please I'm trying to find out the real answer because I've heard various answers. Is being Jewish considered a ethnicity or a religion? I want to know the real answer because I've heard various answers.
     
  2. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    Are you a practicing Jew? If so, then you are Jewish from the religious aspect.

    Do you come from a Jewish bloodline? If so, then you are Jewish from the ethnic aspect.

    If you were born into a Jewish bloodline, but you don't practice Judaism, you would be considered a Jew only based on your ethnicity. You could be both/either/or.
     
  3. abrownlths

    abrownlths Member

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    Bloodline yes and I do practice it. I wanted to know the answer for this because when applying for the academy it isnt considered a ethencity. I know it's sort of a sticky question but I'd like to know the answer.
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Wouldn't that just fall under the category "white" or "Middle Eastern" depending on the specific ancestry (Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic/Mizrahim)?
     
  5. abrownlths

    abrownlths Member

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    That is why I'm asking this question
     
  6. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Very interesting. I love Jewish people ! In fact, I plan to travel to Israel sometime in the future....

    do you speak hebrew? that will definitely add brownie points to your application.
    I believe Jewish falls under the Caucasian category but if you speak Hebrew that will make you stand out in my opinion.
     
  7. abrownlths

    abrownlths Member

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    I don't speak fluenent Hebrew unfortunately. The thing I'm really confuse about is that my parents and consuler say it's an ethnicity, but on the admissions portal it's not listed as one. So does anybody know the legal term for what being jewish or why it's not considered a ethnicity? I'm not trying to sound pushy or anything it's just something that nobody seems to have the answer to.
     
  8. ctuma2

    ctuma2 Member

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    If you google "judaism religion or ethnicity" you'll see that there is a huge debate on it. I doubt you'll be able to find a straight answer on the forums here as they are focused on the academies and not debates on religion. If the form gives an option for "other" and you identify yourself with a jewish ethnicity, list it in the "other." If not, just put whatever you identify with most (ex. if you have European ancestry put caucasian). Or better yet, put that you do not wish to respond. Unless you're looking for some special favor based on your religion, this should not be a big problem. I personally believe in absolute equality which means there is no bias towards ANY religion, gender, ethnicity.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  9. abrownlths

    abrownlths Member

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    The only reason I ask this on this form is because on the 2017 admissions portal theirs only 1 answer for your ethnicity.
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    There are several religion/ethnicity questions which have been bandied about for a long time.

    How about the young person whose family originally (300 years ago) hails from France but has lived in Algeria for generations. They are still Christians, but have intermarried with the locals. Are they French? Middle Eastern? White? Africans? Arabs?

    Is a person of Japanese or Chinese descent, whose ancestors have been in the US for 250 years, still considered to be Asian? Even if s/he has never been to Asia? Speaks only English?


    Once we start talking race and ethnicity, it's a sticky wicket for sure.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Actually; Jewish, Judaism, and Hebrew are very easy to separate and understand. I asked a couple of Rabbis in my time. This is what they said.

    1. Jewish is a "People". A collective who are descendents of one of the 12 tribes of Israel "Israelites". (The tribe of Judah). It's not a religion. There are plenty of Christian and Muslim "Jews".
    2. Judaism simply is the "Religion/Faith". Most scholars believe that after the initial split of the 12 tribes, and then the eventual dispersion, many of today's European, African and Western Asia civilizations evolved from the 10 tribes of Israel that dispersed.
    3. Hebrew is a language.

    Both Rabbis I asked said that many modern people have used the word Jew or Jewish to refer to a religious belief, that they just let it go by without correcting them. E.g. "I am a Christian" vs "I am a Judasm instead of Jewish" or "I am an Islam instead of Muslim". The difference is; the word "Christian" is defined as a person or group of people who follow the teachings of Christ". Judaism and Islam isn't following the teachings of a person named Judah or Islam. Anyway; I found the Rabbis' explanation very interesting. The same applies with Muslim. It's not a religion. Islam is. Buddhism is similar to Christianity. E.g. Buddhish follows "Buddah". Christian follows "Christ".
     
  12. debcst

    debcst Member

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    I think the reason the SA applications ask about ethnicity is so that their admissions staff can reach out to under represented minorities. No matter how you classify Judaism, this is not one of the groups targeted for this purpose, so I don't think it matters exactly what this applicant puts.

    (NOT trying to raise the whole debate about admissions policies here- just thinking about why it's on the application and what the implications are for the original poster).
     
  13. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Religion, not ethnicity. I'm Jewish, and the old saying "two rabbis, three opinions" applies here too:

    What Christcorp said is kind of correct. Basically, a Jew is someone who was either born to a Jewish mother (or father, depending on movement), or converts to Judaism. It's kind of hard to convert to an ethnicity!

    That said, the belief that someone can be a Christian or Muslim Jew is not universally accepted among Judaism. Typically, Reform and Conservative Jews believe that once you start practicing another religion, you are not considered a Jew.

    To answer your question, nothing I filled out this year listed "Jewish" under ethnicity. It's basically universally accepted on applications and by the government that Judaism is a religion and not an ethnicity.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree it is not an ethnicity because as it has been stated the govt does not see it as an ethnicity.

    You can choose to be of a certain religious faith, you cannot select/choose your blood lines, that is genetic.
     
  15. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    PIMA, I can think of numerous times when I wished I was from a different blood line. Like the time my brother_______________, or when my father took me to Sears to buy underwear, or when ________________. I could go on for hours!

    :shake:
     

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