Maybe your related to the the Beta Israel, the Jews of Ethiopia.<quoted text>
Actually, that is what race is, and yes, most of us Jews don't even follow the religion, but we still have the strong blood ties to the family. Rabbis don't even care if you are practicing Judaism or christian or pagan ... or even atheist like me. You do not pick your tribe/race, it's what you are born with. I am actually part of two races, Jewish and British, because my British portion is from the royal family the blood ties are direct, ironically the royal blood also explains a lot of my health issues, a problem with inbreeding that was not so recognized when the family was in it's heyday.
Race is a genetic distinction, and refers to people with shared ancestry and shared genetic traits. You can't change your race; it's in your DNA. I could never become black or Asian no matter how much I might want to, even if they allowed me to "convert".
Common ancestry is not required to be a Jew.
Most secular American Jews think of their Jewishness as a matter of culture or ethnicity. When they think of Jewish culture, they think of the food, of the Yiddish language, of some limited holiday observances, and of cultural values like the emphasis on education.