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My parents told me I'm British, Welsh, French, Acadian French, German and Native American... but never Jewish. I recently found out I have Jewish ancestry as well.

Is this a common occurrence: to hide such ancestry? I'm not trying to be Jewish by religion. I'm just talking ancestry. (I'm happily and logically Agnostic and will be until I'm dead and gone.) I sincerely hope I didn't say anything offensive, I don't even know what offends y'all.

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closed as off-topic by Y ez, Shmuel Brin, Danny Schoemann, Avrohom Yitzchok, Daniel Aug 31 '14 at 15:12

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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How can an Agnostic be so certain that they will always be that way? That seems self-contradictory. – HodofHod Aug 16 '13 at 6:44
@hod Why would that be self contradictory? Some things we can prove are unprovable (eg Continuum Hypothesis) – Double AA Aug 16 '13 at 18:48
@DoubleAA To my knowledge, the existence of G-d is not one of those, though. A Divine Revelation could fulfill any criteria for proof that might be desired. – HodofHod Aug 16 '13 at 19:30
@hod how could you be sure it was a real divine revelation? – Double AA Aug 16 '13 at 19:44

Depending on how far removed your are from your Jewish ancestry (you didn't state in your question), it is possible that your parents simply didn't know. As for "why," your ancestors may have hidden their Jewishness to avoid persecution or to better integrate into society (which until recently did not look kindly upon Jews). It is also possible that your ancestors had converted away from Judaism, and thus suppressed this ancestry.

On a related note, children who were hidden during the Holocaust with non-Jewish neighbors were often not told that they were Jewish and were raised as gentiles.

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Just my 2cents on the agnostic issue raised above: Agnostic means, first and foremost, that one doesn't CARE whether God exists. God's existence has no affect on one's life, therefore even if it were proven one way or the other, it wouldn't matter. Thus, it is possible to remain Agnostic forever. (this isn't the classical definition.) – Shmuel Apr 14 '14 at 19:06

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