The Conversion Episode, 2019

Ep. 184: In honor of Shavuot, stories of Jewish conversion from Chicago to Alabama and beyond

June 6, 2019

Last May, in honor of Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates the most famous convert to Judaism, Ruth, we put together a special episode all about conversion. We were so moved by the overwhelming response, both from converts and not, that we made another one.

This year, just in time for Shavuot, we hear from Ashley Wallace, who grew up in a Christian family in Alabama and who was supported throughout her conversion by her friend Will Docimo. We talk to Rabbi Dr. Stuart W. Halpern, author of the new book Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth about why Shavuot is the perfect time to celebrate conversion stories. Listener Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy lets us listen in on her conversion audio diary, all the way to the mikveh. Pittsburgh record store owner Eric Ackland shares his journey from secular Judaism to Orthodoxy (not technically a conversion, but still a great story). Plus we hear from lots of listeners who called in to share their own conversion stories.

We’d love to hear what you thought of this week’s show. Email us at [email protected] or leave a message at 914-570-4869.

We’re heading to Chicago! We’ll be at the Logan Square Auditorium Wednesday, June 26, at 7 p.m. with special guest Blair Braverman, who recently became the second Jewish woman to complete the Iditarod. Presented with Hadassah Chicago-North Shore. Get your tickets here.

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Unorthodox is a smart, fresh, fun weekly take on Jewish news and culture hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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