Is Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Jewish?

Yes Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) is a Jew. She was shot in the head at a political event in Tucson on Jan. 8, 2011.

JTA reports:
Giffords was elected to Congress in the Democratic sweep in 2006. The first Jewish woman elected to Congress from the state, she made her Jewish identity part of her campaign.

“If you want something done, your best bet is to ask a Jewish woman to do it,” said Giffords, a former state senator, said at the time. “Jewish women — by our tradition and by the way we were raised — have an ability to cut through all the reasons why something should, shouldn’t or can’t be done and pull people together to be successful.”

Giffords, 40, was raised "mixed" by a Christian Scientist mother and Jewish father, but said that after a visit to Israel in 2001, she had decided she was Jewish only. She attended services at a local Reform synagogue.

In one of her last photos, she posed with the new U.S. House of Representatives speaker, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) at her swearing in; her hand is on the "Five Books of Moses."


TeachESL said...

She isn't Jewish - her mother isn't.

Lady-Light said...

She may consider herself Jewish, but according to Jewish law, Rep. Giffords is not Jewish. She can only be Jewish by matrilineal descent, and her mother was not, apparently, Jewish.

Jewish or not, the fact that she was shot (with all the others, several of whom were killed) is a terrible atrocity.

Unknown said...

why is it never "Jewish enough"?

Ok, according to halacha...maybe some thing s should be according to hearts and minds? There are so many who are jewish according to Halacha, who are terrible people. We should be proud of those who consider themselves jewis, mother jewish conversion or not. Get with the 21st century. Stop the rhetoric and divisiveness and welcome into your hearts those desrving.
There are lots of chassidim,i would check my hands for fingers after shaking hands. but yes, they are "jewish". Good peopel are good people.

Global Shave Clubs said...

While its true that strictly speaking Gabriel Giffords is not Jewish, she considers herself Jewish, supports Jews and Jewish causes and is definately of Jewish lineage. Abraham was the first Jew. He undertook G_d's will voluntarily. So did Gabriel. Let's pray that she recovers and also for the souls of those who were killed.

Khrystle Kardashian said...

Shame on you who question a Fellow Jew's "jewishness" as she lies in the hospital bed and her congregation prays for her recovery. The Very Honorable Rep. Giffords is part of our people in both the religious and civic definitions, and an example to both. Hashem help our community if we treat our own with questions rather than love in their time of greatest need.

Mrs. Z said...

Ruth the moabite was not Jewish, Yet King David came down through her line. This is a Rabbinic law and has nothing to do with the law of God.

Unknown said...

Contrary to "Mrs. Z"'s post above, Ruth the moabite WAS Jewish! She converted to Judaism when she returned to Israel with Naomi. Most of the halacha dealing with converts is learned from the Book of Ruth. This is Torah law and Rabbinic law and has everything to do with "the law of God".

Mrs. Z said...

So if we are talking conversion only and not birth decent, then why are there so many on this blog questioning whether Ms. Giffords is really a Jew or not. She belongs to a Synagogue and appears to have made a conscience choice to convert also.

Unknown said...

Just because Giffords got shot doesn't make her claim to be Jewish - any less false. Go argue with the sages from thousands of years ago that established the religious law. Similarly, if you don't like the right to bear arms in the USA? Go argue with the founding fathers.