Extremely excited about a new documentary directed by Laura Wiessen, a current Drisha scholar!
More Beloved by G-d is a documentary that tells the story of converts and their journey to Judaism. It hopes that their experiences will offer "unique insights into Jewish identity, community, and faith in the 21st century."
The trailer opens on the radiant, terrified face of Rain who we follow to the mikvah on her "big day." Her energy, the energy of a new Jewish soul, is palpable. Finally converting, she offers, is a "reward" after an incredibly arduous process.
We also meet Yitz, a hip-hop artist who I interviewed for my "Funny, You Don't Look Jewish" piece, who discusses how his conversion was truly an "an instinctive thing." Yitz has wanted to be Jewish since he discovered that there were such a people called Jews. "What is Jewish culture? What is Jewish identity?" Yitz asks when the lives of converts and Jews of color are thrown in the Jewish melting pot.
Along with these two characters, we meet a former "good Catholic boy" rabbi from Italy and a single mother in her late 30s.
Marc Angel, I am glad to see, also makes an appearance in the film to note that "[Converts are] time release capsules that were with us from the beginning."
There are so many reasons why people convert to Judaism and it looks like this documentary will explore this issue as well as many others. People are curious of converts. Even Jews who appreciate all that Judaism has to offer have a hard time wrapping their minds around those of us who choose to change our entire lives to be part of a people, a culture, a nation, a religion that was otherwise foreign to us. Jennifer says it best when she tells people that she is converting to Judaism because "G-d told her to." No matter what we tell people are reasons are, in the end, it really is a higher power that draws soul searching non-Jews to Judaism.