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New Jews

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 16 April 2011

Why do people choose to take the difficult path to convert to Judaism, a religion that does not seek or encourage converts? The most straightforward motive is marriage, but there are people who convert for their own deeply personal reasons.

Theo, born to staunch Nazi parents in 1930s Berlin. His journey has taken him from being a member of the Hitler Youth, to marking the anniversary of Hitler's birthday by reading in synagogue. His new Jewish faith helps satisfy the need he feels to atone personally for the crimes committed against the Jews by the Nazis.

Nigerian-born Elisha and Nkem were brought up in Lagos in a community of Messianic Jews, who follow Jewish customs, but are taught that Jesus is the Messiah. Why have they have chosen to actually convert to mainstream Judaism and bring up their two young children in the faith?

Agi, brought up in a family with no religion in a small town in Hungary, hungering for a spiritual dimension to her life. She explains why in the end she found it not in Catholicism, but in Judaism and how it led her to London via Budapest.

‘New Jews’ talk frankly to Judi Herman about what has led them to the Jewish faith.

  • New Jews

    New Jews

    Theo Heser having his traditional Jewish wedding (with canopy) after his conversion to Judaism. He had already married his wife in a civil ceremony, but wanted to do it the Jewish way.


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