Is Gabby Giffords Jewish?

Conservative rabbi Jason Miller writes:

The debate over “Who is a Jew” is back in the headlines following the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. For Giffords, the daughter of a Christian Scientist mother and a Jewish father who is the grandson of a rabbi, there is no question of her Jewishness. She is a proud Jew who is an active member of her Reform congregation. She was married under a chuppah (wedding canopy) by a rabbi, albeit to a non-Jewish man.

As Giffords lay in a hospital recovering from being shot in an assassination attempt by a domestic terrorist, her Hebrew name has circulated the world to be used in the traditional Mi Shebeirach prayer for healing. Some rabbis have even questioned whether her non-Jewish mother’s name should be part of her Hebrew nomenclature for the prayer, while others have referred to her as Jewish but added the caveat “not halachically speaking.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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