The story of how a twitter exchange between Megan Phelps Roper and, well… me, helped Megan and her sister Grace leave their hateful Church, has already been broadly covered. This coverage culminated with a massive piece in The New Yorker that went into great detail, both about the story itself and its aftermath.
While all the coverage was lovely, I always felt that there was too much attention focused on the twitter aspect of the story and not enough on the entire Jewish ecosystem that came together in order to help, welcome and support these women despite the fact that they had previously insulted, demeaned and even frightened some of us. This was perhaps exacerbated by the fact that except for a few local stories, no major Jewish press has ever paid any attention to this amazing story. I have no idea why, but thankfully that’s changed to a certain extent with this weekend’s cover story in the Jerusalem Post’s In Jerusalem Magazine. I guess that makes sense given that when I was exchanging tweets with Megan, I was in Jerusalem!
The thing that pleases me most though is that the writer of this story interviewed Rabbi Yonah Bookstein and his wife Rachel who had bravely hosted Megan and Grace in their home while also patiently and lovingly answering all their questions about Judaism. Also mentioned was Allen Alevy, the main sponsor of the Jewlicious Festival, who flew Megan and Grace to LA in order to participate in the Jewlicious Festival, solely based on our assertion that these women had left their family and needed our help.
When Megan and Grace got to the Jewlicious Festival they were met by much warmth and love from attendees. It was a singularly great moment that embodied so much of what Jewlicious and the Festival were about. Thanks to Ariel Dominique Hendelman for putting together a thoughtful and well written article. Since In Jerusalem Magazine is behind a paywall, I have included a link to a PDF file of the article that you can read if you like.