NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire converts to Judaism

“It’s official,” Stoudemire said on Instagram.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire completed his conversion to Judaism on Wednesday in Bnei Brak, a city of Orthodox Jews on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

“It’s official,” Stoudemire said on Instagram, “I finalized my final meeting with the Beth Din [rabbinical court] and went to the Mikva [ritual bath], Graduation complete.”

“Hebrew name is Yehoshafat Ben Avraham,” he said.

In January 2019, Stoudemire was granted temporary residency status in Israel. In March 2019, he was granted Israeli citizenship based on his “unique contributions” to Israeli society.

Stoudemire has played for Israel’s Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club since 2016. He helped the team win the Israeli League Championship in 2017.

Stoudemire first told reporters that he was “in the process” of converting in April 2018, following a lifelong spiritual journey.

One of his former teammates, Chris Smith, converted to Judaism in 2017.

“Amar’e Stoudemire was my teammate on the Knicks also, and he literally was bringing, you know, just books and readings in the locker room. And I was always wondering like what is this?” Smith said in a 2018 interview.

Smith is not the only person on whom Stoudemire has had a positive effect. Recently, he’s been talking to television host Nick Cannon.

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Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS last month over anti-Semitic comments. He later apologized.

“When I spoke to Nick Cannon, he was very concerned. He felt like he made a mistake,” Stoudemire said in a July 28 interview with Mackenzie Salmon of USA Today.

“He was very honest about not really being totally educated on the topic, and he’s now constantly trying to learn more. He’s speaking with rabbis. He’s speaking with me. He’s getting involved in a Jewish community,” Stoudemire said.

“He’s really, really concerned and wants to make sure that he is correcting his mistakes,” he said.

Stoudemire said that when we’re younger ,we all make mistakes and say things that we regret.

“What makes you a better person is that you realize you make those mistakes and then you correct those mistakes and then you become a better person. You become more knowledgeable,” he said.

“But from a Nick Cannon point of view, he’s definitely on the right track and he’s willing to learn,” said Stoudemire.