Browsing Tag



Where Drug Lords Once Reigned, Colombian Jewish Converts Now Pray

By On May 3, 2016

Bello, the Medellín, Colombia suburb largely known for drugs and gang violence, is an unlikely destination for Israeli backpackers, foreign rabbis, and Jewish tourists. But thanks to a former pastor named Juan… Read More

Marilyn Monroe's Rabbi Sent Fan Mail to MLK, Jr.

Marilyn Monroe’s Rabbi Marched in Selma With MLK, Jr.

By On January 24, 2016

  Rabbi Robert E. Goldburg was the beloved spiritual leader of Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, Connecticut for 34 years. His sermons were energizing and sometimes controversial, tackling tough issues like civil… Read More

When Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor Became Jewish

When Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor Went Jewish

By On November 20, 2015

Is a star’s embrace of Jewishness the ultimate celebrity endorsement? (See: Miley Cyrus’s Star of David getup). Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, who converted within a few years of each other back… Read More

Sammy Davis, Jr. Sings "Fiddler"

Sammy Davis, Jr. Sings “Fiddler”

By On July 30, 2015

Sammy Davis, Jr., the singer, tap-dancer, and entertainer, converted to Judaism in 1961, at the age of 36. He was passionate about his adopted religion, and remained so his entire life. Nevertheless,… Read More

Yiddish Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon…in Yiddish?

By On January 23, 2014

You may associate the Book of Mormon with show-stopping musical numbers and lots of Tony awards, but before it was a hit musical the Book of Mormon was…a book. In fact, it was the foundation… Read More


The “Kosher Convert” Cooking Show

By On January 14, 2013

The world of kosher cooking is an ever-expanding one, filled with textures and flavors far beyond the confines of our bubbes’ kitchens. The newest addition to this world is the Kosher Convert, an… Read More


The Rebbe’s Christian Son

By On November 6, 2012

Members of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidism love nothing more than telling stories about their rebbes. One episode, however, that doesn’t get much mention concerns Rabbi Moshe, son of Chabad’s founding rebbe, Shneur Zalman… Read More

becoming jewish

Conversion from A to Z

By On April 24, 2012

Converts to Judaism don’t always get the sweetest deal. In fact, according to the Talmud (Yevamot 47a), a potential convert is supposed to be repeatedly dissuaded from converting–just to make sure they’re really… Read More


Third Time’s the Charm

By On January 18, 2012

There’s a man at a comedy club wearing a black suit, white shirt, and twirled sidelocks. He’s telling the audience about his last flight to Israel. “When I show up for the flight looking like… Read More


Murder, Poisons, and Conversos

By On January 5, 2012

Dr. Rodrigo López was born in Portugal in the 16th century. He was a converso, a Jew who converted to Christianity, but he ended up leaving the country, fleeing the increasingly dogged efforts of the Inquisition, which aimed to… Read More


A Holiday from the Black Plague

By On December 21, 2011

In The Decameron, a group of 10 young people–three women and seven men–leave the city of Florence, where the black plague is running rampant, to vacation at a country villa. The introduction to this… Read More


The Convert’s Burden

By On December 2, 2011

In the 1800s and early 1900s, many Jews in European countries converted to Christianity. The stakes were low, and the burden of staying Jewish was high–pogroms and poverty. But converting didn’t always erase people’s Jewish… Read More

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