How Jewish Is Youkilis?
Wed, 01/02/2013

In categorically describing the new New York Yankee Kevin Youkilis as “Jewish” without going into the specifics of his family background, you are doing your readers a disservice (“Yanks Now Eight Shy Of A Minyan,” Dec. 21).

A recent article in The New York Times, in contrast, traces Youkilis’ paternal Jewish roots back several generations and concludes that “there is little ambiguity” as to his Jewishness because “While his mother, Carolyn, a West Virginian, was not raised Jewish, she converted after marrying Mike [Kevin’s father].”

The “fact” that Youkilis is Jewish may be unambiguous from the perspective of Reform Judaism, based on his paternal Jewish lineage, and from the perspective of Conservative Judaism, based on Youkilis’ mother’s conversion. But absent more details about the circumstances of her conversion, Youkilis’ status as a Jew is actually far from clear from the Orthodox perspective. If you have more details, you should report them — and let the reader decide whether he or she considers Youkilis to be Jewish.

You certainly recognize the existence of the Orthodox community whenever is there is an alleged scandal within the midst of that community. Your total disregard of the Orthodox view when reporting about an allegedly Jewish baseball player is, to put it charitably, disingenuous.

The Bronx

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