The Jerusalem Report, rather strangely, has taken down its old website before its new one is ready, leaving just a holding page. I wonder why?
More's the shame as it means I can't link to a hilarious piece in its Up Front section, about a Christian man who took out $25,000 (!!!) worth of full-page newspaper advertisements in Jewish media recently, asking to be recognized as a Jew based on a DNA test that showed he was an Ashkenazi Jew by paternal lineage, and asking to be awarded Israeli citizenship under the law of return. The ad included a personal plea to PM Sharon, as well as the full text of his Y-chromosome ancestry report, which confirmed that he had "a rather populous pedigree of Ashkenazi Polish Jews."
After someone read me this much of the story, I guessed that such a meshugganer must come from some deprived European village -- that this was a scheme to move into the first world; and barring that, he was clearly unbalanced. Well, no and no. John Haedrich, 43, is a nursing home director from Glendale, California. He started looking into his Jewish roots in 2000 when he drove around Europe and ended up in Krakow and Auschwitz and got a 'serendipitous feeling' that he might be Jewish. And now, he is going to some lengths to prove it (he won't convert as he says it's unnecessary because he's already a Jew).
Let me point out two things. Firstly, with the rate of intermarriage such as it is, and with hundreds of years of Jewish history in Europe and North America, I would venture that there are very few non-Jews in those places who wouldn't be able to trace back at least one Jewish ancestor at some point (I think I read somewhere that more than half of Brazilians are descended from Jews, or something similar). Secondly, if I had $25,000, here's a suggestion to Mr Haedrich. You would have been much better off writing to Mr Sharon to tell him you have $25,000 to spare -- rather than spending it on the ads. I can almost guarantee you a better response ;-)