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Orthodox Judaism has a predominant position in Israel.
Although Orthodox and Conservative Judaism do not recognize Jewishness through patrilineal descent, "it should also be noted, however, that in the case of a child born to a Jewish father but to a non-Jewish mother, most Orthodox rabbis will relax the stringent demands normally made of would-be converts", All mainstream forms of Judaism today are open to sincere converts, with most subgroups accepting converts by the process accepted within the group.
Most notably, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism has rejected patrilineal descent and requires formal conversion for anyone not born of a Jewish mother.
Karaite Judaism believes that Jewish identity can only be transmitted by patrilineal descent.
The definition of who is a Jew varies according to whether it is being considered by Jews on the basis of religious law and tradition or self-identification, or by non-Jews for other reasons, sometimes for prejudicial purposes.
Because Jewish identity can include characteristics of an ethnicity, According to the simplest definition used by most Jews for self-identification, a person is a Jew by birth, or becomes one through religious conversion. Cohen, in the Bible, the status of the offspring of mixed marriages was determined patrilineally.
Because rabbis in the other movements do not require that converts make this commitment, Orthodox authorities do not generally accept as valid conversions performed outside the Orthodox community.
Halakha states that the acceptance of the principles and practices of Judaism does not make a person a Jew.If both parents are Jewish, their child will also be considered Jewish, and the child takes the status of the father (e.g., as a kohen).If either parent is subject to a genealogical disability (e.g., is a mamzer) then the child is also subject to that disability.This presumption of the status of the offspring of any mixed marriage is to be established through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith and people...
Depending on circumstances, mitzvot leading toward a positive and exclusive Jewish identity will include entry into the covenant, acquisition of a Hebrew name, Torah study, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and Kabbalat Torah (Confirmation).Karaite Judaism predominantly follows patrilineal descent. Jewish identity is also commonly defined through ethnicity.