NOTES1. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
2. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ayer.
3. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.
4. Half-Jewish, according to a private communication from a distinguished former colleague of the late Prof. Boolos.
5. In Men of Mathematics, Eric Temple Bell described Cantor as being "of pure Jewish descent on both sides," although both parents were baptized. In a 1971 article entitled "Towards a Biography of Georg Cantor," the British historian of mathematics Ivor Grattan-Guinness claimed (Annals of Science 27, pp. 345-391, 1971) to be unable to find any evidence of Jewish ancestry (although he conceded that Cantor's wife, Vally Guttmann, was Jewish). However, a letter written by Georg Cantor to Paul Tannery in 1896 (Paul Tannery, Memoires Scientifique 13 Correspondance, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1934, p. 306) explicitly acknowledges that Cantor's paternal grandparents were members of the Sephardic Jewish community of Copenhagen. Specifically, Cantor states in describing his father: "Er ist aber in Kopenhagen geboren, von israelitischen Eltern, die der dortigen portugisischen Judengemeinde..." ("He was born in Copenhagen of Jewish parents from the local Portuguese-Jewish community.") In a recent book, The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity (Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 2000, pp. 94, 144), Amir Aczel provides new evidence concerning the ancestry of Cantor's mother in the form of an excerpt from a letter that was written by Georg Cantor's brother Ludwig to their mother [reproduced in its entirety, but in French translation from the original German, by Nathalie Charraud in her book Infini et Inconscient: Essai sur Georg Cantor (Anthropos - Economica, Paris, 1994, p. 8)]. This letter begins [in the original German, a fragment of which appears in Georg Cantor: 1845-1918, by Walter Purkert and Hans Joachim Ilgauds (Birkhäuser, Basel, 1987, p. 15)]: "Mögen wir zehnmal von Juden abstammen und ich im Princip noch so sehr für Gleichberechtigung der Hebräer sein, im socialen Leben sind mir Christen lieber ..." The translation of this sentence is: "We may be descended from Jews ten times over and I (may be) in principle ever so much for the equal rights of the Hebrews, (but) in social life I prefer Christians...," or equivalently: "Even though we are descended from Jews ten times over and I am in principle ever so much for the equal rights of the Hebrews, in social life I still prefer Christians..." Charraud renders the (complete) sentence in a slightly different manner as follows: "Męme si c'est dix fois vrai que nous descendons de juifs et si je suis en principe entičrement pour l'égalité des droits avec les Hébreux, dans la vie sociale je préfčre les chrétiens et je ne me sentirai jamais ŕ l'aise dans une société exclusivement juive." Later on in the same letter, Ludwig states: "Mais nous sommes, bien que je possčde moi-męme un nez juif, dans nos principes et nos habitudes tellement non-juifs...," which translates as: "But we are - even though I myself possess Jewish features - so non-Jewish in our beliefs and customs..." In other words, Ludwig is arguing that even though the family is ethnically Jewish, it is culturally non-Jewish. What is significant about this letter, as Aczel first pointed out, is that it was written to the mother of Georg Cantor and would, therefore, have made little sense if she hadn't herself been of Jewish descent. According to Ismerjük''oket?: zsidó származású nevezetes magyarok arcképcsarnoka, by István Reményi Gyenes (Ex Libris, Budapest, 1997, pp. 132-133), Cantor's maternal great uncle (i.e., the brother of his maternal grandfather), the great violin pedagogue Josef Böhm, was a Jew by birth. [N.B.: There are now erroneous translations of the sentence: "Mögen wir zehnmal von Juden abstammen..." appearing elsewhere on the Internet. The sentence has the basic structure "even if A and B, nevertheless C," where the enumeration of A and B is clearly intended to mitigate the expression of prejudice in C, i.e., the term "even if" is employed in the sense of "even though." These other translations attempt to render the sentence: "Even if it were the case A and even though it is the case B, nevertheless C." Since the term "Mögen" (which generates the "even if" expression) appears only once in the original German, it must assume the same meaning in both cases if it is distributed over A and B in translation (i.e., if the sentence is rendered: "Even if A and even if B, nevertheless C."). Furthermore, in our translations of the sentence, we gave the word "zehnmal" its literal meaning, viz., "ten times," which, of course, does not make literal sense when used to modify the term "descended from." It is fairly clear that the word is employed in this context to signify "overwhelmingly" or "completely"; perhaps the best translation of the word in this context is "one thousand percent." From that standpoint, even if the "we" in the sentence was somehow intended to refer to the Cantor children only (and not to their mother, to whom the letter is addressed), it would still imply that she was "descended from Jews."]
7. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
8. See http://gestalttheory.net/archive/kgbio.html.
9. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father. See Metzler Philosophen Lexikon, edited by Bernd Lutz (Metzler, Stuttgart, 1989, p. 503).
10. Mother of Spanish-Jewish descent, non-Jewish father; see Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds, by Harold Bloom (Warner, 2002, New York, p.44) or http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10512c.htm.
11. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother; see Vienna and the Jews: 1867-1938, by Steven Beller (Cambridge, 1990, pp. 15-16).
12. Convert to Judaism; see http://www.arlindo-correia.com/080702.html.
13. See A Certain People, by Charles E. Silberman (Summit Books, New York, 1985, pp. 247-248). Putnam has described himself as a "practicing Jew." See also Hilary Putnam's Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life: Rosenzweig, Buber, Levinas, Wittgenstein (Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002, p. 2).
14. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother; see http://faculty.oxy.edu/traiger/publications/reichenbach.html.
15. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father; see Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 14 (Keter, Jerusalem, 1972, p. 952).
16. Jewish father, mother of partial Jewish ancestry; see Models of My Life by Herbert A. Simon (BasicBooks, New York,NY, 1991, pp. 3, 17, 112, 262).
17. Father and grandfather were both tried and convicted by the Inquisition for secretly practicing Judaism; see "Teresa's Jewish Roots": http://www.helpfellowship.org/Articles%20of%20Interest/teresa_of_avila_by_raymond_helmick_SJ.htm.
18. See Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 16 (Keter, Jerusalem, 1972, p. 197).
19. Jewish father, half-Jewish mother; see, e.g., Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, by Ray Monk (Penguin, New York and London, 1990, pp. 4-7).