celebrities · education · Hebrew · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · Rabbi Haskel Lookstein · race/racism

Conversion (and Racism) in the news

“Barbara Walters: Ivanka Trump’s wedding was ‘absolutely gorgeous'” (The Examiner.com)

Read and learn why The View host Joy Behar can be really annoying….

“Ivanka Trump Says “I Do!” (Us Magazine)

Bet Ivanka never thought she’d become the poster child for Orthodox conversion.

“What defines your religion?” (BBC News)

As Britain tries to redefine Judaism for Jews, Jews everywhere wonder…can this be good? “Is being a Jew a matter of bloodline or religious practice? The UK’s new Supreme Court is debating the subject this week, in a case that could have a wider impact on faith schools, says Tim Whewell.” (Very interest comments from Brits…who seem to be in agreement about Judaism being “racist.”)

“From Kaifeng to Kibbutzim” (Jerusalem Post)

Jews from Kaifeng, China arrive in Israel to embrace their Jewish roots. Now if only we could stop racist Jews from commenting on the article.

“Jewish Actress Sophie Okonedo Explores Biracial Identity” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles)

“I’m a North London, working-class, black, Jewish girl,” actress Sophie Okonedo said. “I love my upbringing because it had so many different colors; it’s given me the equipment to play lots of diverse roles.”

“‘Circumcise Me’: The Mohel the Merrier?” (Jewish Exponent)

Hilarious article about Irish-Italian convert Yisrael Campbell and his three (yes, three) circumcisions. Here’s a soundbite: “And his father? Not the most observant of Catholics, observes his son the Jew. “When I explained to him that I couldn’t turn lights on on Shabbat,” and that even the refrigerator light that would go on when the fridge opened was restricted, his father eyed him and opined, “Do you really think God cares that a light goes on when you open the refrigerator door?””

“Chinese descendants of ancient Jewish community make aliyah” (Ynetnews.com)


“Tzohar Rabbis: Privatize marriage registration” (Jerusalem Post)

“The National Conversion Authority is run under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate, and Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar has the final say on conversion policy. But many haredi city rabbis refuse to recognize its conversions because they claim that Druckman’s religious Zionist agenda casts doubt on his rabbinic authority. As a result, dozens of converts who have attempted to register in cities such as Ashdod, Petah Tikva, Rehovot, Ma’aleh Adumim and Beersheba have been turned away by the local rabbis because they are not considered Jewish.”

“JFS to plead case at Supreme Court” (The Jewish Chronicle of London)

“The legal battle over entry to JFS (a Jewish day school) will reach a climax next week when a three-day hearing begins at the new Supreme Court in London on Tuesday.”

“‘They’ll say I’m a racist'” (Haaretz.com)

“[Ori]Konforti, who until last year was the Jewish Agency’s representative in Ethiopia, says that American-Jewish groups wish to keep the immigration of the Falashmura going in order to generate more contributions from supporters who want to be involved in tikkun olam (“repairing the world” activities), enhance the bringing together of Jews from around the world and improve their own relations with the black community in the United States. Israel, he says, became entangled in commitments to the Falashmura, a group with an almost infinite potential for immigration, due to pressure by nongovernmental organizations and politicians, especially from the Shas party.”

“The Open Door: 25 Years After Patrilineal Descent” (The Jewish Week-New York)

“The resolution also paved the way for a whole new class of what Rabbi Gordon calls “green card” mothers to emerge — gentile women who enthusiastically schlep their children to Hebrew school, volunteer on synagogue committees and host Shabbat dinners, even if they choose not to undergo a conversion. In recent years, many of those women have received support from the proliferation of the Jewish Outreach Institute’s Mothers Circle groups around the country.”

“Druckman Supports Easing IDF Soldiers’ Conversions” (IsraeNationalNews.com)

“New Signs that Ethiopian Aliyah Will Resume” (Baltimore Jewish Times)

“The Law of Return” (MyJewishLearning.com)

“The question of whether non-Orthodox converts should be included in the Law of Return has also been debated for decades. Since the 1970 amendment, the ultra-Orthodox parties in Knesset have advocated limiting the Law of Return to Orthodox converts.”

Portugal’s secret Jews come out of hiding” (Haaretz.com)

“They trace their Jewish roots to the 15th and 16th centuries, to the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions in which thousands of Jews were murdered and countless others were forced into exile or to convert. Many became crypto-Jews, practicing secretly. They were classified in Jewish law as Anusim, Jews who are forced to abandon their religion against their will, but continue to practice insofar as possible. Their modern-day descendants call themselves Bnei Anusim – sons or children of the Anusim. They are also known by the derogatory Spanish term “Marranos” (“swine”).”

“Life Stages And Our Jewish Involvement” (Baltimore Jewish Times)

Article follows born Jews, and one convert, through their life stages and how their involvement in the Jewish community has evolved.

“Boosting the Israeli nation” (Ynetnews.com)

“And if we do go for expedited conversion, why don’t we start with the roughly 700000 “non-Jewish Russians” and work immigrants that live amidst us?”

“The fixer” (Haaretz.com)

“The survival of Israel needs 200 million Jews around the world, which means it’s a question of conversion. This question is not really addressed. We should have a much broader definition of who is a Jew, and active conversion. We should accept anybody who has one Jewish parent or was raised in a Jewish family or wants to live as a Jew. And if you apply the Law of Return to people who are distantly Jewish, that will change the picture significantly.”

“Equality watchdog in JFS fight” (Jewish Chronicle of London)

“The Supreme Court this week granted the Equalities and Human Rights Commission the right to be an intervener in the forthcoming appeal case, which will enable it to make submissions to the court. JFS, the country’s largest Jewish school, is trying to reverse a decision by the Court of Appeal in June that it is unlawful to offer places on the basis of whether a child’s parent is Jewish.”

“Taekwondo / Getting a leg up” (Haaretz.com)

Ukrainian taekwondo champion says she’s converting because “she wants to feel fully Jewish.”

“Jewish case may hit other schools” (BBC News)

The case of a Jewish school accused of breaching race relations laws over admissions could have ramifications for other faith schools, ministers say. (I still can’t get over the fact that Britain has decided Judaism is a “race.”)

“I Just Married A Jew, But My Sister’s The One Converting” (The Frisky)

“Is Ivanka Trump Good for the Jews” (Forward)

An interesting perspective on how times have changed and why it’s good for converts and Jews of all backgrounds.

“Riverdale gets an introduction to Ugandan Jews” (Riverdale Press)
Quite the title.

“From The Ghetto To The Shtetl: An Interview With Hip-Hop Artist Y-Love” (Five Towns Jewish Times)

“Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner Seal the Deal at Reception No. 2” (People Magazine)

People magazine, not used to covering Sheva Brachot, fumbles the explanation over the ritual 7-day after wedding celebrations calling this one a so-called “Reception No.2” held by the Kusher family, Ivanka’s in-laws.

“Will Ivanka Trump’s Wedding Dress Inspire Sleeve Lust?” (New York Magazine)

So Ivanka Trump has sleeves on her wedding dress to conform to Orthodox standards of modesty (some people are upset she didn’t cover the elbows, too) and now, it’s going to turn into a fashion trend for everyone? Wow.

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