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‘Jewish clause’ and everything under the sun

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 30, 2009 | 2:47 pm

After blogging Friday about “the Jewish clause” in bubbe and zayde’s will, I sent the story around to my property law class, and our professor responded with a 1974 Ohio case that showed the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling last week wasn’t so odd.

In fact, the circumstances of Shapira v. Union National Bank were quite similar. In that case, the Ohio Court of Common Pleas upheld a portion of a will that would release inheritance to the testator’s son:

“only if he is married at the time of my death to a Jewish gifl whose both parents were Jewish.  In the event that at the time of my death he is not married to a Jewish girl ... then his share of this bequest should be kept by my executory for a period of not longer than seven (7) years and if my said son ... gets married within the seven (7) year period to a Jewish girl whose both parents were Jewish, my executor is hereby instructed to turn over his share of my bequest to him.”  If the failed to marry a Jewish girl within the allotted time, the bequest was to go “to the State of Israel, absolutely.”

Sound familiar? Here’s a bit more on that case.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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