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Jewish Converts

Hear the Stories of Catholic Converts from Judaism and learn what led them to embrace Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church.

“Growing up in a Conservative Jewish home, I was a regular attendee at synagogue on Sabbaths and High Holy Days, and lived a committed Jewish life. My father is a Polish Holocaust survivor from Auschwitz, and my mother’s family escaped the organized massacres of Jews in Russia… Christianity was the religion of the outsiders, the faith of anti-Semites and Jew-haters, the creed of Crusaders, Inquisitors, Persecutors, and Nazis. Yet my mother would remind me that ‘Jesus was a Jew.’”

– Mark Neugebauer

Watch Mark's Episode           Read Mark's Story


Debbie Herbeck 56:00

Growing up in Chicago in a conservative Jewish family and culture, Debbie Herbeck lived out her faith on a daily basis.  But the death of her brother when she was in high school brought her to a place of deep questioning.  Pushing on, but struggling spiritually, Debbie entered the University of Michigan.  Almost immediately she met and became friends with two young women who had been renewed in their Catholic faith.  Through her developing relationships and a series of events, Debbie was being introduced to this person named Jesus – a Jew! Watch Debbie’s story.

Dan Teller 9:34

Dan Teller grew up in a Jewish home that honored the feasts and traditions of his rich heritage, but he himself never really prayed much. However, Dan had a longing to know God, especially through His creation, which led him to explore Zen Buddhism, and even spend time discerning if he should become a monk. Later, when he discovered Christian mystics like St. John of the Cross, Dan knew that the synthesis of all the things he’d been looking for were fulfilled in the Catholic faith. Watch Dan’s Signposts.

Melissa Zelniker-Presser 56:10

Growing up in a tight-knit Jewish community, Melissa Zelniker-Presser knew almost nothing about Jesus or Christianity.  In college, she was befriended by enthusiastic evangelicals, and was excited to begin a relationship with Christ.  However, she still hungered for more, and when a friend gave her a biography of St. Edith Stein, Melissa knew she’d found a spiritual friend she could truly relate to.  That, and the similarities between the liturgy of the Mass and Jewish Passover services were enough to convince her to find a new home in the Catholic Church. Watch Melissa’s story.


More Inspiration for the Journey

Explore the full archive of conversion stories from former members of the Jewish faith.

Explore Full Archive


Honey from a Rock

by Roy Schoeman

Schoeman, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, and best-selling author of Salvation Is From The Jews, once again shows the clear links between Judaism and Catholicism in these inspiring stories of sixteen Jews who became “fulfilled Jews”, as Schoeman says, through their spiritual journeys to the Catholic Church. Using the rich image in Psalm 81 for the book’s title, the author shows how God gave the Jews at Meribah refreshing water from the rock struck by Moses, but He promised ever so much more when they turn their whole hearts to Him – he will give them honey, sweetness itself, from the rock. The sweetness of Christ.

From the Kippah to the Cross

by Jean-Marie Elie Setbon

Jean-Marie was attracted to Jesus when he saw a crucifix at a young age. He contemplated becoming Catholic. Instead, he later moved to Israel, served in the Israeli Army, attended two different rabbinical schools and returned to France an ultra-Orthodox Jew. While teaching in a Jewish school, he was married and began to raise a family but his yearning for Jesus remained. Jean-Marie’s moving and unusual conversion story is about his battle between loyalty to his identity and fidelity to the deepest desires of his heart. Above all, it is a love story between Christ, the Lover—the relentless yet patient pursuer—and man, his beloved.

Before the Dawn

by Eugenia Zolli

This is the remarkable and inspiring story of how the famous and revered Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, became a Christian and entered the Catholic Church after World War II. Zolli was a world renowned Jewish leader and Scripture & Talmudic scholar, and an authority on Semitic philology. This classic work outlines the spiritual journey of Rabbi Zolli, through prayer, Scripture meditation and lived experience, from devout Judaism to Catholicism. He did not abandon his Jewish heritage but says he discovered the fullness of what God offered in Jesus and His Church. Zolli took the Christian name of Eugenio to honor Pope Pius XII (Eugenio was his baptismal name) for all he did to save Jews during WWII.