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Claiming Identities Which Aren’t Theirs: Pretendians and ‘Messianic Jews’

December 7, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm UTC+0

Claiming Identities Which Aren’t Theirs:
Pretendians and “Messianic Jews”

Wednesday, Dec. 7 | 6-7 p.m.


A pretendian is a person who falsely claims to be a citizen of a Native American or Indigenous Canadian tribal nation. Messianic Jews are a religious group that claims to be both Jewish and Christian. This panel discussion, which will be held on Zoom, explores why some people claim to be part of a group that they are not and how their claims affect the real communities.

Panelist Rabbi Stuart Federow

Stuart Federow has been the rabbi of Congregation Shaar Hashalom of Houston, Texas, since 1995, after serving as the Hillel director for Greater Houston, and after serving as the rabbi in Lancaster, Calif., and Greenville, Miss. He is the author of the book, “Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast”; the websites, WhatJewsBelieve.org and CreenciaJudia.org; and the chapter, “Missionaries” in the UAHC (URJ) publication, “Where We Stand: A Handbook For College Students.” He was the weekly guest host representing Jews For Judaism on that group’s weekly America On Line chat, on Monday nights for over six years. He is the first rabbi in the history of Houston Baptist University to teach in its Department of Christianity and Philosophy, teaching “An Introduction to Judaism.” He is the founder and co-host of “A Show Of Faith,” a live call-in talk show with a Roman Catholic priest and a Southern Baptist minister, which has been on the air in Houston, Texas, since 2004, and can be heard on AM1070TheAnswer.com Sunday nights, 8-9 p.m.

Panelist Jacqueline Keeler

Jacqueline Keeler is a Diné/Dakota writer living in Portland, Oregon. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, NBC News, New York Times, Indian Country Today, Sierra Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications. Keeler has been interviewed on PRI’s The World, BBC. MSNBC, and Democracy Now.
Her 2021 book, “Standing Rock, the Bundy Movement, and the American Story of Sacred Lands,” contrasts the heavily militarized response to Lakota and allies’ nonviolent fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline to the more measured response to the armed occupation led by Ammon Bundy of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016.
In 2023, Torrey House Press is releasing “Letters to Oppenheimer From the Fourth World” about the impacts of Uranium mining on Indian Country. Keeler also edited “Edge of Morning: Native Voices Speak for the Bears Ears,” released in 2017.
She is also working now on her first work of fiction, a Native American coming-of-age novel called “Leaving the Glittering World” set on the Columbia River amidst the discovery of an ancient 10,000-year-old skeleton and sacred lands become nuclear wastelands.

Moderator Gordon Bronitsky, Ph.D. 

Gordon Bronitsky, Ph.D., is founder and president of Bronitsky and Associates indigenow.com , a firm which has worked with Indigenous artists and performers from around the world since 1994.  He has worked on every continent except Antarctica. He has also facilitated dialogues and programs between Jews and American Indians, and other groups, for over 30 years.  Gordon is happy to let people know that there is now a Navajo word for Jew — bich’ah yazhí diné’é, people who wear little hats.


December 7, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm UTC+0
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