Skip To Content

My father was from Nigeria and my mother from Mobile, Alabama. I am a major in the USMC serving in the Pentagon. I married a Jewish woman. In 2008, I went to serve in Iraq and met Rabbi Cutler, then a Navy chaplain. He was the senior chaplain for Marine Air Wing in Iraq and would make visits to my base. After several conversations and because of him and wanting to have a Jewish home and bring up my children Jewish, I decided to start the process of conversion to Judaism. He outlined a course of study for me. We would Skype once a week, and when he came to my base we would study. When we returned to the States in 2009, he officially converted me to Judaism. Now I have a son and a daughter, and my wife and I are raising them as Jews. We are very involved in our synagogue. I am an African-American Jew, my wife is white, our children biracial and we are committed to the future of Judaism. If it were not for Rabbi Cutler, I don’t know if I would have converted to Judaism and be raising a next generation of Jews.

— Olufunmike Adeyemi

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning journalism this Passover. 

In this age of misinformation, our work is needed like never before. We report on the news that matters most to American Jews, driven by truth, not ideology.

At a time when newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall. That means for the first time in our 126-year history, Forward journalism is free to everyone, everywhere. With an ongoing war, rising antisemitism, and a flood of disinformation that may affect the upcoming election, we believe that free and open access to Jewish journalism is imperative.

Readers like you make it all possible. Right now, we’re in the middle of our Passover Pledge Drive and we need 500 people to step up and make a gift to sustain our trustworthy, independent journalism. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Our Goal: 500 gifts during our Passover Pledge Drive!

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.