Jewish Forums
Was my Great Grandmother Jewish ? - Printable Version

+- Jewish Forums (https://www.thehebrewcafe.com/forum)
+-- Forum: Main Forums (https://www.thehebrewcafe.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=1)
+--- Forum: Judaism General (https://www.thehebrewcafe.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=2)
+--- Thread: Was my Great Grandmother Jewish ? (/showthread.php?tid=310)



Was my Great Grandmother Jewish ? - Niccc_ - 08-27-2019

Hi everyone!
]I’m not Jewish myself, but there’s some things that have led my family to question if my great grandma on my moms side was Jewish and didn’t make it known for some reason. 
I never met her, but my mom has told stories about her. My mom said she didn’t speak much English at all so my mom couldn’t communicate with her well. According to her documents and what not, she came here from Galicia, Ukraine. I’ve read about Galicia, Ukraine and it sounds like a lot of Jewish Ukrainians lived in this town. Not only that, but her maiden name was Bilik. According to google Bilik is a Jewish/eastern Ashkenazic surname. When she came to the U.S she moved to a town  (about 30 minutes away from me now) that was predominately a Jewish community/is still known around here as a town with mainly Jewish residents. My mom lived there for awhile and said a lot of her friends were even Jewish, but she wasn’t. 
It seems like a lot of signs point to her being Jewish, but we don’t understand why she wouldn’t have made it known or maybe even hid it at that time. What could be the reason for her hiding being Jewish? Did people ever do this during this time in the world?
I don’t think I would be considered Jewish since I’m pretty sure the maternal side has to continue being Jewish/can’t break it in order to actually be Jewish (sorry I’m wording this horribly, I don’t know much about the subject). But yeah, I’m interested in everything you all have to say about this! Thank you.


RE: Was my Great Grandmother Jewish ? - searchinmyroots - 08-27-2019

Hello Niccc and welcome to the forum.

Just to let you know, the first 3 posts are moderated to keep out spam and bots.

Not sure what is going on with your fonts but it looks all out of whack. I would try and fix it, but don't want to accidentally delete anything you wrote.

As for your great grandmother being Jewish, it is very possible she was but hard to prove if she denied it or there isn't anything to support it.

Why would she hide it if she was? Because many Jews were oppressed and thought life might be better if people didn't know they were Jewish.

Unless you can find some documentation it is going to be very difficult to know for sure.

Is there any access to a birth certificate or gravestone? They might offer some clues.


RE: Was my Great Grandmother Jewish ? - RabbiO - 08-27-2019

(08-27-2019, 03:34 AM)Niccc_ wrote: I don’t think I would be considered Jewish since I’m pretty sure the maternal side has to continue being Jewish/can’t break it in order to actually be Jewish (sorry I’m wording this horribly, I don’t know much about the subject). But yeah, I’m interested in everything you all have to say about this! Thank you.

I do not know if your great grandmother was Jewish, but if she was- even if she converted - and she had a daughter who was your grandmother, then your grandmother was a Jew, even if she was not raised as one, your mother is/was a Jew and according to traditional Jewish  law so are you.