Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cardinal O'Connor's grandmother was Jewish, his grandfather a rabbi

Rabbi James Prosnit of B’nai Israel at the grave of the cardinal’s grandfather Gustave Gumpel.

Alison L. Cowan, "The Rabbi Cardinal O'Connor Never Knew: His Grandfather" (New York Times, June 10, 2014):
"... Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor was a staunch friend and defender of the Jewish people.... Yet there was something Cardinal O’Connor apparently never knew: His mother was born a Jew, the daughter of a rabbi."
See also: "Cardinal O'Connor Jewish?" (A Catholic Jew Pontificates, June 11, 2014) -- an essay with photos:
Recently the sister of Cardinal O'Connor discovered that their mother Dorothy was Jewish. Dorothy who was born as Deborah Gumple or D'vora Gumpel was the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and Shokhet (Kosher butcher). She left her family and became a Catholic in 1908 when she was 19 and she married the Catholic Thomas O'Connor in 1909. She never spoke of her Jewish background to her children, they had assumed she had been of Lutheran heritage. The New York times has a great article about it here. The Jewish Week also gives an account.
[Hat tip to CB]

1 comment:

bill bannon said...

True of Theresa of Avila also and maybe St. John if the Cross who was from a conversos family...though muslim is possible too in his case according to wiki who has a nice piece on him.