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Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn Jewish Hero

103 Votes for Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn

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Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn

Miami Beach, Florida

How is your Hero working to make the world a better place?

Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn spearheads the largest outreach program for conversion to Judaism. He designs seminars, conferences, and retreats all over the world. His students and their families find that he provides welcoming support and positive Jewish identity in areas where Rabbis are not available for conversion. Through his outreach efforts, he has touched tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives. These individuals maintain a Jewish life and establish new Jewish communities in so many places around the world where Judaism seemed no longer viable.

How has your Hero impacted your life and inspired you?

Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn always knows the right thing to say at the right time. When my son told me that he was planning to marry his non-Jewish girlfriend, I wanted to tear my hair out. I felt lost and let down every time I though about their wedding. But I realized that the only way that I was going to deal with this situation, was to consult with Rabbi. Rabbi told me, "The wedding ceremony is just 20 minutes long but your son's marriage and new family will last his lifetime. Let us work on their marriage first and try to make sure that we bring Judaism "in" instead of shutting anyone out." When my daughter-in-law wanted to convert, I saw that everything had turned in a new direction for my family. I studied along with Ashley and I found that by the time of her conversion, I had become a more compassionate person and a better Jew. Rabbi told me that there would be challenges and successes and he would stick through with us. Through his example of selflessness and his vision of an opening, welcoming Judaism, I now have a more loving and happier Jewish identity, Jewish grandchildren, and a more open approach to all people.