Behind the Story: I’d heard about this place for a long time but had never been there. Then, several years ago, my friend Ellen Zemel, who is white and Jewish, adopted an African American baby. She and her son started to attend Beth Shalom and were warmly welcomed by Rabbi Capers Funnye and by the congregation. Ellen is also a member of my synagogue. After she arranged a “field trip” for some of us to visit Beth Shalom, I knew this was a story I needed to tell.
A week or two after this story first aired on Chicago Tonight in 2007, people at Beth Shalom posted it on YouTube and within a couple months it had hundreds of thousands of hits and had sparked a heated debate. And Beth Shalom started to have visitors from around the world.
More Info: Synogogue’s website