Very interesting NY Times Magazine article about the serious scrutiny that the Israeli rabbinical court gives to people who want to get married questioning whether they are really Jewish.
Cheesehead connection - On page one, the family described in the article moved from Kiev to.....Wausau, WI.
The article makes me feel bad that I do not have a very solid history of my family, the who, what and where of my family tree does go very far back and has a lot of holes. Doing a search like this for me would not be easy.
You may of course say, who cares, I do not plan to move to Israel but this is somewhat disturbing as we move further and further away from the first generation of people who migrated to the US. It will become harder for anyone to prove they are Jewish. If a child of a reform family for 3-4 generations decides to move to Israel today, could Seth Farber even help them.
Today the US is a place where most Jews are well off and successful. In the future, who knows, the economy could take a major dive and our peace and security is not certainly. Israel on the other hand does not seem to be an appealing place for most these days but who knows 20, 40 or 100 years from now.
It seems from the article that this harsh standard applies to marriage but what about the general right of return. What if they applied such a standard to entry into the country.
It almost would seem that all American Jews should as sort of a due diligence insurance policy - do this research now and keep it in a safe place so that if their family members ever felt a need to move to the holy land they would have their documents lined up. I bet a company would make good money offing this service and agreeing to keep and document the information for people with no real reason to do the research.