So on erev Shabbos, I received an email chain forward with the title UNBELIEVABLE. Indeed. The claim is that Sarah Palin is Jewish, by maternal descent. I tend to doubt many things sent by email forwards, and the claim itself is in itself somewhat dubious. First the text, and then the debunking.
Based on Jewish tradition that makes one Jewish if born to a mother of Jewish ethnic decent, Sarah Palin is Jewish, though she touts a mask of evangelical christianity. Sarah Palin's mother, Sally Sheigam, was of Lithuanian Jewish heritage and so were both of her mother's parents, Louise Sheigam and Shmuel Sheigam. Her father, Chuck Heath, also comes from Jewish blood because his mother, Beatrice Coleman, was of Jewish decent. Further information on GovernorA good debunking is here at wiki answers. Basically, you can find a detailed ancestry of Sarah Palin at this website. On the maternal side, there are many generations which were born in America, not Lithuania. A partial excerpt from the wiki answers site:
Palin's ancestors can be found in the vital records in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius ( http://www.archyvai.lt/ here).
The Archives holds birth, marriage, divorce, and death records for the Lithuanian Jewish community from 1851 until 1915 when the Jews were required to leave the country because of World War I. They are in 18th Century Cyrillic script and Yiddish. Many of these records include the mother's maiden name and town of registration.
Palin's maternal grandfather, Schmuel Sheigam, was a Lithuanian Jew, born in 1912 in Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, The Sheigams' grandmother was a Jewess named Gower. At the Ellis Island Immigration Center, the name was entered as Sheeran, instead of Sheigam, a standard practice when immigration officers were unable to understand the pronunciation of non-English speaking immigrants. They are buried in the Jewish cemetery at Budezeriai.
*Palin's mother was born Sally Sheeran, in Oct 1940, in Richland, WA
*Her mother was born Helen Louise Gower, on 22 Jan 1910 in WI
*Her mother was born Cora Strong, on 4 Nov 1886, in Chippewa Co., WI
*Her mother was born Augusta L[odema] Godfrey, in Jul 1854, in Waverly, Morgan Co., IL
and so on and so forth, for several more generations.
My guess is that this is either from an Obama supporter who wants to alienate the Neo-Nazi from McCain, and thought to himself, "what would a Neo-Nazi hate more than an African-American President"; or a McCain supporter who thought (most likely incorrectly) that this would persuade Jewish voters to vote for McCain-Palin, rather than the Democratic candidate.
I did not see this on snopes, so it is important, I think, to post it here.