Page 100 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
P e r c y C o l s o n ’s
The Strange History o f Lord George Gordon
(London: Rob­
ert Hale
8c
Company, 1937). This is the story o f a famous British
convert.
D a v id H o r o w i t z ’s
Thirty-Three Candles
(New York: World Union Press,
1949). Horowitz, a well-known reporter at the United Nations,
tells the story o f Boake Carter, who converted to Judaism in 1942.
His book is especially interesting to students of mysticism.
P h in n E. L a p id e ’s
The Prophet o f San Nicandro: A Modern Adventure in
the Discovery o f Faith
(New York: The Beechhurst Press, 1953). This
is an earlier retelling o f the San Nicandro story.
C e c i l R o t h ’s
Personalities and Events in Jewish History
(Philadelphia: Jew­
ish Publication Society, 1953). This book has a long and useful
chapter titled “Proselytes o f Righteousness,” which offers a survey
o f Jewish proselytizing efforts. It is particularly helpful as a well-
written introduction to the subject.
Avi
S h a f r a n ’s
M igrant Soul: The Story o f an American Ger
(Southfield,
Michigan: Targum/Feldheim, 1992) is a biography o f “Abel
Gomes,” who is a dark-skinned descendant of Native Americans.
The author argues for the virtues o f Orthodox conversion.
HISTORY AND STUDY OF CONVERSION
There are some classic works in the field and many new ad­
ditions o f varying degrees o f accuracy and impact. T h e most
important books in English include:
R abb i E l i y a h u A v i c h a i l ’s
The Tribes o f Israel,
translated by M. Gross
(Jerusalem: Amishav, 1990). This book is by a rabbi who searches
out non-Jewish peoples around the world who may be descendants
of Jews and have maintained some Jewish practices. The author
has effected the conversion o f a variety o f people and tells their
stories in this book.
B e r n a r d
J.
B a m b e r g e r ’s
Proselytism in the Talmudic Period
(New York:
Ktav, 1968). This is a scholarly book, yet not one too difficult
for the average reader. Bamberger traces all the talmudic com­
ments about conversion. His principal argument is that welcoming
converts was a normative Jewish religious activity that was praised
and practiced during the talmudic era. Although his work could
be supplemented by the recent scholarship in the field, it remains
historically important and useful especially for its careful selection
of sacred textual materials.
W i l l i a m
G.
B r a u d e ’s
Jewish Proselytizing In the First Five Centuries o f
the Common Era
(Providence, R.I.: Brown University, 1940) is un­
fortunately difficult to locate. It is often considered a companion