Despite not being converted to Judaism, born into the faith or indeed recognised by anyone in the Jewish community as being Jewish, troubled comic Michael Richards insists he is Jewish.
But his Jewish association claim has been rebuffed by Jewish groups.
According to his publicist, the former Seinfeld star who verbally abused two black people at a LA comedy club earlier this month as well as previously insulting Jews is not a racist.
“He really thinks of himself as Jewish,” said Howard Rubenstein. “He said there were two mentors who raised him and who had a big influence on his life, and they were Jewish. He said, ‘I agree with the concepts and the religious beliefs of Judaism and I’ve adopted Judaism as my religion.’”
“You can’t feel Jewish. It’s not a matter of feeling. You can convert to Judaism. You can’t not convert to Judaism and then be Jewish,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
“From the Orthodox point of view, if that person has a Jewish mother, he would be considered Jewish. In the Reform tradition, there’s also a patrilineage. Under those categories, he would not fit,” Hier added.
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