Helen Rados showed up at the Bedford Post Inn north of New York City to celebrate the conversion of her friend Angela Gold.But as she approached, Rados spotted a chuppah on a hill behind the building.
Growing up Catholic in Ireland can be intense, and it may be one reason why Philomena Wallace decided to become a Jew.
When Donna Levine told her mother she had converted, the response was that she would burn in hell. A friend encouraged Levine to join Jews for Jesus. She had to explain to this friend that, unfortunately, that wouldn’t work.
When Jennifer Harrison-Gomez decided to convert to Judaism, her husband, Brian Gomez, followed suit. At 8 years old, Jennifer saw a film about Judaism that sparked her interest. In middle school, she read “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which further intrigued her. As an adult, she worked for a Jewish mortuary, where she admired the Jewish traditions of handling death. Jennifer began talking about Judaism with the shomer (guardian of the deceased) at her job, and, after learning more, she started her conversion process.
Fourteen years ago, Catherine and Bruce Penso’s oldest daughter, Leah, was ready to become a bat mitzvah. But before her big day, Leah told her parents that she wanted to go to the mikveh and formally convert.
When Andromeda Stevens, 46, found herself falling in love with Judaism, she knew it was time to convert. She and her husband, Glenn Stevens, who live in Beverlywood, started living a Jewish life together years before they were married, and Andromeda converted after the wedding. “I liked the traditions, and the meaning behind the traditions,” she said. “The symbols were very logical to me and very supportive of humanity and living a justified and good life. I found that really appealing. It was very contrary to my Catholic education.”
For Chris Hardin, converting to Judaism was a family affair. In November 1994, Hardin, then 38, stepped into the mikveh. That day, his daughter and wife did the same.
Hearing the name Frank Siciliano, you would probably not immediately think “Orthodox Jew.” But this Jew by Choice, who has lived in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood for the past three years, is as passionate about his religion and his people as one can get.
Israel's high court reversed two annulled conversions to Judaism and affirmed thousands of others.
In the opening scene of the documentary “Torn,” an official asks an elderly man for his name, and he replies, “Romuald-Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel.”
I grew up in Valparaiso, a predominantly white, Christian city in northwestern Indiana. Brought up in a fervently Lutheran family, I attended a Lutheran parish (a church-run school) for eight years, went to church twice a week, and prayed before every meal and every night before bed. Even with all of the influences around me that should have produced a dedicated young Christian woman, I did not feel like I was in the right place.
I wanted to elope. He didn't. Actually, toward the end of our wedding planning, he did -- but his family, which is much larger than mine, was expecting a big fat Orthodox Jewish wedding. What they weren't expecting was a big fat Dominican Orthodox Jewish wedding.
But this is 21st century America, not 18th century Poland or 20th century Germany. Pew tells us that Americans are switching religions like never before. Do we want to enter the competition armed with our wonderful 3,000-year-old history, or kvetch about assimilation, intermarriage and our dwindling numbers?
As Cosmo Kramer in "Seinfeld," Richards played one on TV. But he himself is not Jewish -- not that there's anything wrong with that.Richards lashed out a heckler at the Laugh Factory last Friday, spitting out the "N" word without humor and with abandon. Audience members booed, several walked out, then Richards himself walked off stage.Fellow comedians and fans have been quick to criticize Richards -- and misrepresent his religious background.
At 81, frail of body but sharp-tongued and wise, Rabbi Schulweis has made it his mission to preach the gospel of conversion to the Jews. That is we, as individuals and as a people, must seek and embrace converts. Doing so will not only improve Jewish life but improve our own lives as Jews.
When friendly strangers find out I'm a convert to Judaism, they want to know why.
And I've learned to be ready.
I have two stories: One is
respectable, and one involves comic books and video games.
Nell Carter, the African American Jew best known for bawdy turns in the Broadway musical "Ain't Misbehavin'" and the 1980s sitcom "Gimme A Break!" died Jan. 23 of uncertain causes.
It took nearly 10 years, but now the other shoe has dropped. In the early 1990s, the American Jewish community was jolted by findings of an intermarriage rate exceeding 50 percent during the previous five years. Now, a new survey sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJCommittee) sheds light on the profound social and psychological consequences of widespread intermarriage.
Israeli lawmaker Alex Lubotsky was having a bad day on Jan. 29. Hehad come to Jerusalem's Ramada hotel to address a visiting group ofOrthodox Jews from America, to plead for their support of thecompromise conversion plan authored by Finance Minister YaakovNeeman.
Rabbi Maller has written dozens of articles on conversion during his 30 years at Temple Akiba, Culver City. In "God, Sex and Kabbalah" (Samuel Weiser), he notes that many converts to Judaism were found to have Jewish ancestors.
Like most converts, the Hardins take the precepts of their adopted faith more seriously than many born to it, and they display an intense hunger for knowledge, as if to make up for what they missed during their childhoods.
Converts to Judaism can now find each other -- and counsel from several rabbis -- on line.