DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old Jewish girl. At least, I THINK I am. My parents told me I was Jewish. My father is Catholic and my mother was Jewish before she converted when I was 10. Some people say I am Jewish, and others say I'm not. I hope I am. What do you say? -- 14 AND WONDERING
DEAR WONDERING: I don't know what religion you are practicing, but Jewish ancestry is matrilineal -- traced through the mother. Therefore, you could be considered Jewish if you WANT to be. According to the "Jewish Book of Why" by Alfred J. Kolatch (Jonathan David Publishers Inc.): "A child born of a Jewish mother is considered Jewish regardless of the future actions of the mother or father. The child's Jewishness is considered his or her natural right, one that cannot be denied by the action of either parent."