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Showing posts from January, 2014

My Conversion Speech on January 17 @ Temple Israel

Until recently, I was a very unlikely candidate for conversion. Even though I am Japanese, I was raised in a believing Protestant household, and subsequently became a Born-Again Christian at the age of ten at a Christian camp in Japan. At 18, I moved to the U.S. to attend The Juilliard School. I used to be a Christian violinist, giving church concerts, appearing at evangelical events and on Christian TV programs. And I led prayer groups at a church in New York City. Yes, I was that crazy Shiksa.
It was about ten years ago, that I started touring with “Pharaoh’s Daughter”, a Jewish Middle-Eastern band consisting of mostly Israelis and few Gentiles. It’s headed by an American Jew, Basya Schechter, an ex-ultra-Orthodox woman from Borough Park. We have performed at many Jewish festivals and all imaginable venues; Carnegie Hall, JCC’s, synagogues, colleges and even prisons. We traveled, ate, laughed, and occasionally, we cried together. For the past ten years, I got to participate in many J…