Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

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





    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

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.