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A judge in Buffalo was asked to delve into the qualities of being Jewish in a case in which an Orthodox Jew from South Africa claimed his Reform Jewish wife, an American, is not really a Jew. In Lazar v. Lazar, 2011 NY Slip Op 51749, Barry D. Lazar counterclaimed to his wife’s petition for divorce and sought an annulment, alleging that Melissa Lazar had fraudulently misrepresented herself as a Jew. Mr. Lazar contended his wife cannot qualify as a bona fide Jew because her mother is not a Jew, and that she is really a Catholic who carried out a ruse throughout their 11-year marriage, observing the Jewish Sabbath, holidays and traditions.

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