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My girlfriend's grandfather was jewish. He is her mom's father. Can she still make Aliyah and receive all the benefits from doing that? If so, what would be the process? does she need to go to a special rabbi for a certificate? (e.g. a reform Rabbi?)

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closed as off-topic by Shimon bM, Double AA Mar 27 '14 at 1:09

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According to the law of return, as I learned it in a class about modern israel this past semester at college, one grandparent is sufficient for making aliyah. She is not jewish according to tradition, though. – Baby Seal Mar 27 '14 at 2:37
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She is not Jewish at all. She is not eligible to become a citizen of Israel under the 'Law of Return'. She can apply to immigrate as a non-Jew.

If she wants to convert she needs to actually go and convert with a real (Orthodox) rabbi who is an expert in conversions. The correct definition of a Jew is the first recursive algorithm.

A Jew is someone who

1. has a **mother** who is a Jew according to this definition


2. Who has converted according to Jewish law.

A Reform or Conservative rabbi is not valid.

If she wants to convert so that it will be accepted by the Israeli rabbinate, ask them for the name of a rabbi in your area that would accept her. She can also apply to immigrate as a non-Jew and attempt to convert in Israel.

You mention that she is your girl friend. Note that while a marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew is invalid according to Jewish law, the secular Law of Return does have certain loopholes which many Russian non-Jews took advantage of.

I am not a lawyer, nor do I know Israeli immigration law. You would have to consult a lawyer to see what non-Jewish descendents of a Jew would be accepted by the secular law. However, your question implied that she wanted to make aliyah as a Jew. My answer dealt with that aspect.

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I was under the impression that the Law of Return was changed decades ago to include zerah yisrael. Nu? – rosenjcb Mar 27 '14 at 1:02
@rosenjcb I hinted at the loophole that the Russians used, but I thought that a Jew had to make aliyah in order to bring in non-Jewish family members. I will point out that I am not a lawyer. – sabbahillel Mar 27 '14 at 1:05
I don't think it's contingent on a halachically Jewish family member. Furthermore, there are efforts in Israel to make zerai yisrael Jewish. jewishideasdaily.com/808/features/the-seed-of-israel – rosenjcb Mar 27 '14 at 1:31
@rosenjcb That is why I suggested consulting an attorney who knows the current law. The original question implied that she wanted to make aliyah as a Jew. That is a different matter. – sabbahillel Mar 27 '14 at 1:56
Ah, I see. Definitely a concern then. Thanks for clarifying. – rosenjcb Mar 27 '14 at 2:12

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