I guess I should start off this post by saying no one in my family practices Judaism. My mom’s side of the family is Baptist and my dad’s side is Catholic. Perhaps this is why it was such a shock to me that I’m related to many Jewish people through my maternal grandmother. After asking her about it, she told me that she believes her family went to great lengths to hide their Jewish identity during WW2 in Europe. Given her age, the timeline doesn’t really add up. All I know is that one way or another, her grandmother stopped being openly Jewish. My grandmother was not raised Jewish at all and identifies as a hardcore Christian. She also seems in the dark about some of her family’s history and all the people who could tell her about it have sadly passed away.
My European Jewish DNA is around 20%. The nearest ancestor I can track that actually practiced Judaism is my maternal great-great-grandmother. I guess my question is this: Is Jewishness defined by practicing Judaism or Jewish DNA?
If this post is offensive in any way I’ll take it down. I really just want to know more about my family history. More specifically, a part of my history that seems to have been hidden for a long time.