First U.S. Consul in Jerusalem - a Flamboyant Eccentric Who Embraced Judaism

In 1844, a Philadelphia Quaker named Warder Cresson disembarked at the Jaffa port, holding an American flag in one hand and a caged dove in the other. He converted to Judaism and assumed the name Michael Boaz Israel ben Avraham.

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Michael Boaz Israel ben Avraham was buried in 1860 on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. He was laid to rest in an elaborate funeral of the likes normally accorded only to eminent rabbis. Two weeks from now...