Does enjoying “Seinfeld” and a whitefish bagel count to make one a “cultural Jew”?
Sure, I enjoy “Seinfeld” and a whitefish bagel. But is that enough to make me “culturally” a Jew? I’m not convinced. I can see why many other secular, nonobservant Jews — who speak Hebrew, or grew up following Jewish ritual — feel that being Jewish defines them. But defining myself strongly as a Jew when I know so little about religion or ritual would, I believe, cheapen the tradition I would be claiming to invoke.
Yascha Mounk, “German, Jewish and Neither”, The New York Times (5 January 2014), SR5.