Senator George Allen of Virginia became Jewish sometime Monday night. On Monday, he accused a reporter of "making aspersions" when she asked about his mother's Jewish heritage during a debate. By Tuesday, he had become proud of his Hebraic roots.
“I embrace and take great pride in every aspect of my diverse heritage, including my Lumbroso family line’s Jewish heritage, which I learned about from a recent magazine article and my mother confirmed,” Mr. Allen said in a statement.
“Some may find it odd that I have not probed deeply into the details of my family history, but it’s a fact,” Mr. Allen’s statement said. “We in the Allen household were simply taught that what matters is a person’s character, integrity, effort and performance — not race, gender, ethnicity or religion.” [Link (reg. req.)]Gee, I guess if I want to be as open-minded as Senator Allen I should stop keeping track of the sex and religion of each of my ancestors. And from now on, I'll stop thinking of my great-grandparents as "Finnish-American," and start thinking of them as "hard-working Americans of irrelevant ethnicity."
BTW, the referenced article from The Forward is here, and argues that, given his maternal lineage, "Senator Allen would be considered Jewish in the eyes of traditional rabbinic law, which traces Judaism through the mother."