Here’s a nice letter I recently received from a reader:
I’ve been following your blog for months and it is a revelation. I am a young South African woman of a mixed race background who has been struggling with the question of an orthodox Jewish conversion for about 2.5 years now and when I discovered your blog, it was a relief to discover that someone on the other side of the world understood exactly what I’m wrestling with.
The South African Jewish community is small and tightly knit and it is very difficult for a woman of colour to negotiate. Also while the community is 90% orthodox, this is in name only as only a small fraction are truly observant. At the moment I have chosen to step away from the conversion process to see if I am really crazy or brave enough to go through with it.
I don’t want to ramble on for too long but I would like to thank you for your wonderful article on hair. I am the only one in my family with nappy hair so I remember all too well how my mom simply didn’t know what to do with my hair. Not to mention the sheer torment of being 7 or 8 yrs old and being forced to have my hair relaxed and the endless hours spent under the hood hair dryer. It seems that whether one is Latina, African or African American, the old question of good/bad hair is one that continues to plague us.
I hope that you will continue to enlighten and inspire us with your wonderful writing. I am eagerly anticipating the publication of your book because I believe that it will help many potential gerim and Jews of colour.
May HaShem continue to bless you and your work!
—Converting in South Africa