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Donna L. Halper

rabbi, educator, and one of America's best-known black Jews, was born Capers Charles Funnye Jr., in Georgetown, South Carolina, to Charles Funnye Sr. and Verdelle (Robinson), native South Carolinians. Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Funnye (pronounced fah-NAY) nearly attended the seminary to become a minister. He grew up on Chicago's South Side, where his parents had moved when he was a child, and he saw the effects of segregation firsthand. After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated he wanted to do something to change society and fight racism In his senior year in high school a pastor he respected suggested that he would make a good minister and for a time he seriously considered it But he had been having doubts about Christianity and embarked on a search for the right spiritual path Ultimately he encountered members of a sect called the ...


Sholomo B. Levy

rabbi and educator, is believed to have been born in St. Mary's, St. Kitts, in the British West Indies, the son of Joseph Matthew and Frances M. Cornelius. Matthew gave seemingly contradictory accounts of his ancestry that put his place of birth in such places as Ethiopia, Ghana, and Lagos, Nigeria. Some of those lingering discrepancies were partially clarified when Matthew explained that his father, a cobbler from Lagos, was the son of an Ethiopian Jew, a cantor who sang traditional Jewish liturgies near the ancient Ethiopian capital of Gondar. Matthew's father then married a Christian woman in Lagos, and they gave their son, Wentworth, the Hebrew name Yoseh ben Moshe ben Yehuda, also given as Moshe Ben David. His father died when he was a small boy, and his mother took him to live in St. Kitts, where she had relatives.

In 1913 ...