'Cleansed by the Torah': Why These Afrikaners Converted to Judaism and Moved to Israel

From a former Pentecostal pastor to entire families, a growing number of Afrikaners are converting to Orthodox Judaism and swapping South Africa for Israel – and, in many cases, West Bank settlements

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
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Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

Theo Kriel and Gabriela Schoeman were married a few weeks ago, in a classic Orthodox Jewish ceremony held in the backyard of friends from the central Israeli city of Ra’anana. A distinguished lineup of rabbis was in attendance to recite the traditional blessings and, as is customary at such weddings, the bride circled the groom seven times under the chuppah, and men and women danced separately.

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