Video: Former NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Completes His Geirus, is Now Yehoshafat Stoudemire

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Yehoshafat ben Avrohom.

That’s Amar’e Stoudemire’s new name now that he has officially finished his geirus, or conversion to Judaism.

The former NBA star, who received Israeli citizenship in March 2019 while playing professional basketball in Israel, announced today in a post on Instagram that his geirus is complete.

Amar’e had his final meeting with the bais din that performed his geirus and immersed in a mikvah.

The 6-10 forward played for the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns among other teams in a 16-year NBA career, during which he was named Rookie of the Year and made six All-Star teams. He also played for Hapoel Jerusalem from 2016 to 2019 and remains a part owner of the Israeli team.

For the past couple of years, Amar’e has been a student at Yeshiva Ohr Somayach in Yerushalayim, where he has learned Gemara, halacha, hashkafah and more.

Stoudemire, who will be 38 this coming fall, was born and raised as a Baptist Christian. Today, he is a full-fledged religious Jew, davening every day and learning Torah.

He began his conversion process in 2011 in New York. As a child, he was told by his mother that his ancestors were “Hebrews.”

“Our forefathers had been sent to Africa; from there they went to America and when they were slaves, lost their religion,” he said in an interview. “It’s hard for me to say that I was surprised by her revelation. I didn’t see myself as a religious person, but I was always spiritual and that’s why things have proceeded nicely and prepared me for the process that I am undergoing today.”

Amar’e has received chizuk from across the globe.

“When I enter the yeshiva or synagogue, people still look at me in awe and say that I am doing a kiddush Hashem. But this is simply just me.”

As for his name, he didn’t at first know who Yehoshafat was. “I began to learn, check and investigate and I found out that he was a King in the Kingdom of Yehuda and one that disseminated Torah. It’s a meaningful name.”

Becoming closer to Judaism for Amar’e did not come from a crisis, he says.

“It came from a combination of moments of memory and enlightenment, in which I realized that in life there is much more in the world than just being rich, parties and publicity.”

Watch Amar’e dancing with chaveirim in celebration of his becoming a Jew:

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

8 COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to the clan. I think I once heard that he grew up in Lakewood! (it’s possible that it was about another NBA star who was megayer, not sure)

  2. so beautiful! moshiachs times.. to think of such a successful basketball player with a life and a world ahead of him filled with money and fame and make the journey; the arduous and commited journey to yiddishkeit is unreal. He has been pushing himself to learn and to change and to become a yid for years now. So amazing! A neshama that was at Har Sinai and the power of the Torah he was mekabel…..

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