NEW YORK (VINnews) — Former NBA superstar Amare Stoudemire, a ger tzedek who converted in 2020 and took the name Yehoshafat, visited Beth Medrash Govoha on Wednesday to see the world’s second-largest yeshiva for the first time.Join our WhatsApp group
During his visit, Yehoshafat met the Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Malkiel Kotler, who greeted him warmly and gave him a bracha, according to the Lakewood Alerts site.
Prior to his conversion, Stoudemire had studied for an extended period of time with an avreich from Yeshivas Orchos Yosher in Bnei Brak, the kollel headed by Hagaon Harav Chaim’s Kanievsky’s oldest son, HaRav Avraham Yishayahu.
Stoudemire was born in Lake Wells, Florida and played for the Suns, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat before retiring from the NBA in 2016. He later played for Hapoel Yerushalayim in Israel. During this period he began wearing a Kipah and Tzitzis and described his deep attachment to Israel and to Jerusalem.
Stoudemire grew up Christian but in 2010 revealed that his mother is from a Jewish background and started a spiritual odyssey which culminated in his conversion. In 2019 he was granted Israeli citizenship by Aryeh Deri but he stressed that his “Jewish roots” were not just through his family but through his own emotional identity with the Jewish nation.
After working for two years as assistant manager of the Brooklyn Nets, Stoudemire resigned a month ago, stating that he had left because of Shabbos observance. “I can’t develop as a manager since I don’t work on Shabbos and managing requires you to be there in person,” he explained.