Man, 80, confirmed as Jewish

By Jessica Elgot, July 22, 2010

An 80-year-old man who had his Jewish status challenged by the Beth Din, has received a letter confirming he is definitely Jewish.

Joseph Marks from Shepperton, Middlesex, had his Jewish status questioned by Dayan Menachem Gelley at the London Beth Din after he applied to join Connect - an marriage agency which is part of the Jewish Marriage Council - after his wife died.

Mr Marks, whose Polish family were killed in Treblinka concentration camp, has devoted much of his life to seeking compensation for money he believes was stolen from his family..

But Dayan Gelley said that he could not verify the marriage certificate of Mr Marks' parents, who were married in a registry office, nor could he verify his mother's death certificate. Dayan Gelley told Mr Marks that a geneaologist was working on the case.

Shortly after Mr Marks contacted the JC, he received a phone call and a letter from Dayan Gelley, confirming his Jewish status. The letter said: "We have carried out our own research and are now satisfied that you are Jewish by birth."

Mr Marks said: "I phoned Connect immediately and sent the application form by return post. They have now confirmed I am a member. It's a great relief."

Last updated: 10:25am, July 23 2010