List of converts to Christianity from Judaism

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This is a list of notable converts to Christianity from Judaism.

The Jewish Encyclopedia gives some statistics on conversion of Jews to Protestantism, to Roman Catholicism, and to Orthodox Christianity (which it calls erroneously Greek Catholicism; Greek or Byzantine Catholics are under the See of Rome, not in the Orthodox Church).[1] Some 2,000 European Jews converted to Christianity every year during the 19th century, but in the 1890s the number was running closer to 3,000 per year—1,000 in Austria Hungary (Galizian Poland), 1,000 in Russia (Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania), 500 in Germany (Posen), and the remainder in the English world.

The 19th century saw at least 250,000 Jews convert to Christianity according to existing records of various societies.[2] Data from the Pew Research Center that as of 2013, about 1.6 million adult Americans of Jewish background identify themselves as Christians, most are Protestant.[3][4][5] According to same data most of the Americans of Jewish background who identify themselves as some sort of Christian (1.6 million) were raised as Jews or are Jews by ancestry.[4] According to 2012 study 17% of Jews in Russia identify themselves as Christians.[6][7] According to Heman in Herzog-Hauck, "Real-Encyc." (x. 114), the number of converts during the 19th century exceeded 100,000. Salmon, in his Handbuch der Mission (1893, p. 48) claims 130,000; others[8] claim as many as 250,000. For Russia alone 40,000 are claimed as having been converted from 1836 to 1875[9] while for England, up to 1875, the estimate is 50,000.[10]

Modern conversions mainly occurred en masse and at critical periods. In England there was a large secession when the chief Sephardic families, the Bernals, Furtados, Ricardos, Disraelis, Ximenes, Lopez's, Uzziellis, and others, joined the Church (see Picciotto, "Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History"). Germany had three of these periods. The Mendelssohnian era was marked by numerous conversions. In 1811, David Friedlander handed Prussian State Chancellor Hardenberg a list of 32 Jewish families and 18 unmarried Jews who had recently abandoned their ancestral faith (Rabbi Abraham Geiger, "Vor Hundert Jahren," Brunswick, 1899). In the reign of Frederick William III., about 2,200 Jews were baptized (1822–1840), most of these being residents of the larger cities. The 3rd and longest period of secession was the anti-Semitic, beginning with the year 1880. During this time the other German states, besides Austria and France, had an equal share in the number of those who obtained high stations and large revenues as the price for renouncing Judaism. The following is a list of the more prominent modern converts, the rarity of French names in which is probably because conversion was not necessary to a public career in that country.

A[edit]

Mortimer Adler

B[edit]

Rachel Sassoon Beer
Max Born

C[edit]

Gerty Cori

D[edit]

Marcel Dassault
Benjamin Disraeli

E[edit]

F[edit]

Julius Friedländer, 1833

G[edit]

H[edit]

Fritz Haber

I[edit]

J[edit]

K[edit]

David Kalisch

L[edit]

Shia LaBeouf

M[edit]

Gustav Mahler

N[edit]

John von Neumann

O[edit]

P[edit]

Boris Pasternak

R[edit]

Paul Reuter

S[edit]

Arnold Schoenberg
Edith Stein

T[edit]

V[edit]

  • Mordechai Vanunu – considered a whistle-blower on Israel's nuclear programme who was subsequently kidnapped, tried and imprisoned by Israel.[97]
  • Rahel Varnhagen (born Rahel Levin) – writer and saloniste[98]

W[edit]

X[edit]

Y[edit]

Z[edit]

Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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