Becoming American

Like becoming a Jew, it takes real knowledge and commitment.

Comments (32)

(29) Anonymous, July 3, 2011 6:59 PM

Allegiance to whom?

I have the same dilemma, in a very similar situation, but my worry is...can I, before G-d, pledge allegiance to the US, if there is a possibility that...let me put it this way...what would happen if, G-d forbid, it would turn it's back to, or even go against Israel? Please, anybody, advice, words of wisdom?

(28) LILIAN UZIEL, June 29, 2011 9:18 PM

hearing lori´s diferent talks

i like very much whatever she talks off, i am from mexico and i like to hear any off her themes, i learn a lot about them

(27) Leonard, June 29, 2011 8:56 AM

The test is easy

Don't worry about the test. I'm sure you'll pass. The test is intended to be easy enough so that Americans could pass if they had to. Actually, you'll probably be upset that the questions were too easy.

(26) Goldie, June 24, 2011 12:28 AM

Hi Lori: I am sure you will pass with flying colors (American spelling) lol - wishing you all the best!! GoldieS from Toronto

(25) Mark, June 23, 2011 5:50 PM


My rabbi always told me that conversion is irrevocable. Once a gentile converts (in accordance with Halachah) he/she is Jewish forever, there is no return. Conversion , through Brit Milah and Mikveh is an eternal pact with the God of Israel. It is an admittance first into the Jewish Nation and an acceptance of the God of Israel: "Your people will be my people and your God my God". I think it is in the Talmud: "One who is submersed and rises, is Jewish in everything; an if he regrets, he is like a kofer. "Taval Vealah yehudi lekhol davar, veim hozer bo, dino ke din kofer."

(24) Anonymous, June 23, 2011 4:09 PM


Islam is not just a religion, but it is a political system, and in the wake of the 911 "gihad" attack on DC & NYC...Homeland Security is beginning to invoke judicial review w/r to the Constitution...and because of Sharia Law @ the core of fundamental may be determined soon "not allowed" in the USA at all.

(23) Richard Allinger, June 23, 2011 3:26 PM



(22) Bev, June 22, 2011 7:22 PM

Can be thought of as the same.

American born is that, American born. We weren't something else before. Many would flunk the test, but it can't be said of us, you are still *****. A convert was something before converting to Judaism. If they flunk the test so to speak, it can be said they are still *****. American born may not be curious about the ends and outs of a country you have always lived in. Jewish born may not be curious about the ends and outs of Judaism, you have always known. Jewish born doesn't have to prove they really have converted from former to the new, when the former never existed. Sure, it's tough on converts, however, the more they pour themselves into their converted decision they can experience the richness of Judaism more so than those who do not have to strive for it. Converts can have a higher appreciation for Judaism. Same with those who chose to become an American, because they wanted to, not because they were born into it. And they (both) has to work for it, it isn't just handed to them. Converts may not like that, so we won't tell them beforehand huh? If they knew that before, would've they had converted? Those that were serious about it, would have, for they would have a love for Judaism to the point it's their love of their life to study it day and night. It wouldn't of been thought of as a chore, but pure pleasure. So yes, those would've make that decision again, even after discovering what is in store for them, it's their pleasure before conversion, during and even after conversion. Lori, you made your decision, enjoy the studies what this country would like to share with you of it's heritage.

(21) Anonymous, June 22, 2011 1:57 PM

Family Member's Comment

My family member became both an American citizen and converted to Judaism. His comment was that sincehe became an American he has been afforded all of the rights of any natural born American citizen. As a convert to Judiasm, he is still treated as a second class citizen by the natural born Jewish people, and so are his children, despite the fact that their mother was born both American and Jewish.

(20) Anonymous, June 22, 2011 9:15 AM

Great comparission! I

Hi Lori. I am so glad I watched this video for many reasons. First you made a great comparison on converting to judaism and becoming a US Citizen…The second reason I find your video so great is because I will be taking the American Citizen as well. I have been preparing my self for 2 months on my own… I was born and raise in Brazil, my husband is an american. We have been married for 11 years,I been holding the residency for years , but I feel it is very important to become an American .… I don't have kids studying american history, I wish I had, they would be great help. Since I stared the process I feel the same way as you, this require a lot of knowledge and commitment .MAZAL TOV

Malka, June 24, 2011 1:13 AM

Good Luck! My israeli mother took it a few years ago and she was very nervous and thank G-d she passed.

(19) yehudit, June 22, 2011 8:15 AM

another tack...

Let's get something straight: G-d actually expects the same commitment from ALL HIS CHILDREN, converts or birthrights. It's written in the Torah quite clearly what is expected of ALL OF US, and what the consequences are for doing otherwise. Having said that: would anyone take on a lifetime employment commitment without reading the requirements or meeting the boss? Or even going for an interview?! I don't think so.

(18) jgarbuz, June 21, 2011 9:58 PM

Jews are an ancient nation; America is a relatively new nation.

Like becoming an American, to become a Jew you have to be either born a Jew, or go through an extended period of learning how to be a member of the Jewish nation. You have to learn the national language Hebrew, and the Laws of the Jewish nation, and promise to abide by them. Many people use the word "convert" as if being a Jews is just being the adherent of a religion. This not true. The word "Jew" comes from Judah, one the last tribes of Israel, and the name of a country whose capital was Jerusalem. As for becoming an American citizen, this is still a new nation made up of many people who came out of many other nations, and has nowhere near the length of history nor experience of the Jewish nation. American Jews have contributed disproportionately to shaping American ideals and values, and mostly contributing to her economic well-being. And America has contributed to the well-being of many Jews and the State of Israel, the state of the Jewish nation. Let's hope this symbiotic partnership continues for a long time to come.

(17) DAVID FRANKEL;, June 21, 2011 5:45 PM


(16) Josh Davenport, June 21, 2011 4:24 PM


I wish you luck, and have taken the "AP US History" course you talked of, so I know that your kids should know most of the info. on the test you have to take except for the specifics like people's names in the current timeline, as a history class of this nature is not likely to cover that. (And I was studied enough to get a 4 out of 5 and college credit for it!) Anyways, my point is: use your kids, or at least their books, and bonne chance!! Mazel Tov!

(15) Linda, June 21, 2011 3:25 PM

Thank You Lori

for reminding us how much other people have to expend to become an American, I'm shamed because i don't exactly know who my congressman is, although I've heard their names , but don't know their office. as far as history goes we did learn that in school, and became patriots in our hearts then. (many years ago) Many of our relatives that came from other countries knew what it cost to become citizens. I commend you fro taking such a great step, bless you. Now i wish our president would go wthrough the same courses you have to. clearly he knos nothing about our fine history, and the blood sweat and tears it took to get this far. Thank you for sharing this.

(14) Guy Sutton, June 21, 2011 2:23 PM

You WILL do it !!

My mother Jewish, father Christian, mother passed when I was 12, father offered EITHER or even NO religion, whatever WE kids wanted. GREAT! No Torah classes, no HEBREW class, NO class.... Now at 46, I am studying my little ole heart out to become the person and follow the wonderful legacy and heart felt dream to know Hashem..... I feel your strength, your passion and all the frustration that you also have. The BEST part is that you take it all in with a beautiful approach, that is what is going to help you succeed, as I am positive it will help me get my Jewish tucas back where it belongs. My prayers as always for love and light, take care and study! Shalom.... Guy

(13) Mindy, June 21, 2011 2:18 PM

Have you investigated dual citizenship?

I have a friend who was born in the US and works for the Canadian government, who now has dual citizenship. I have no idea if that is something you would like, but it might be possible. Regardless, we are looking forward to welcoming you "into the fold".

(12) Anonymous, June 21, 2011 1:44 PM


Hi Lori - Me too! Canadian, living here in Philadelphia for just about 40 years, with my green card, and finally, this year, decided to apply for American citizenship. I'm now at the finger-printing stage, and have a DVD to study from for when I get to the test. I think I'll run it by my American friends to see how they do :) Have hatzlachah!

(11) Anonymous, June 21, 2011 1:21 PM

Difference of Opinion

Government officials and lawmakers deciding who can and cannot become a citizen of a country is a lot different than individual human beings deciding and judging who is worthy and unworthy of acceptance into the Jewish faith. Only God can accurately determine that.

(10) Paula, June 21, 2011 12:19 PM

WTG, Lori

I had no idea you were a Canadian. Wishing you all the best on this journey for American citizenship. Hope you will retain dual with Canada.. We need your knowledge of Yiddishkeit her too!! Best of luck!

(9) David, June 21, 2011 11:56 AM

Good Luck

Good Luck! When my Israeli-born wife was in the States working on her Ph.D. in molecular genetics, she also had to take the test. We thought it was funny, and she didn't make much effort to study, and she failed! She studied for the next test, passed, and received US citizenship. She also got her Ph.D. It's a good thing that we didn't have to pass a test to be Jews.

Anonymous, June 21, 2011 4:59 PM

where have all the flowers gone?

thank you, david (& friend) there has to be a higher pathway than just citizenship in 'this' world; as in exodus: "take off your sandals for the ground which you are standing on is holy ground", etc. ... moments in scripture that we are reminded that the spaces/times & circumstances of our deeds/words/actions/thoughts co-create "holy ground". no, i'm not suggesting that border issues are invalid; but it seems to me that we find too many return draped in a flag (draw your flag in the space provided here ____________); a test you pass to be jews?? that your forefathers were so fully AWAKE at Mt. Sinai!! Toda Rabba.

(8) Independent Patrot/Elise, June 21, 2011 11:42 AM


Wishing you mazel and glick.

(7) Sarah Dinah, June 21, 2011 4:55 AM

Not exactly the same :-)

I like the parallels between becoming an American and becoming a Jew, but there is, of course, one major difference. You can have your American citizenship stripped from you or you can renounce your American citizenship, but you are always a Jew, whether you are born Jewish or convert to Judaism. I am a convert myself, and I tell people all the time, "It was hard work getting in, but now they can't kick me out," lol :-)

(6) Anonymous, June 20, 2011 6:56 PM

Can you have dual-citizenship and keep your Canadian citizenship??

Hi Lori, Can you have both citizenships??

Rachel, June 21, 2011 3:20 PM

Americans can have dual citizenship

I can't speak to Canadian law or that of other countries. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that Americans can have dual citizenship. And this audience might find noteworthy the fact that this was established in the case of a Polish-born, naturalized U.S. citizen who had gone to reside in the State of Israel. The Case is Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967).

(5) Ayalah Haas, June 20, 2011 5:44 PM

Citizen of the Holy Land

Good luck on your American test. You'll do just fine! America has indeed been a land of opportunity for the Jews. I consider myself fortunate for being both American and Israeli. B"H I didn't have to take a test to obtain Israeli citizenship. An official letter from an RCA Rabbi vouching for my Jewishness, a "passport" photo, and the Ministry of Interior processing fee did the job.

(4) Anonymous, June 20, 2011 4:45 AM


Good Luck !!!

(3) Stacey, June 19, 2011 8:46 PM

Good Luck Lori! I bet if you approach learning/studying for this citizenship test as you would studying torah you will pass with flying colors.

(2) L.S., June 19, 2011 3:40 PM

You go, girl!

Lori--you go, girl! Something tells me that you WILL pass this test! Congratulations on taking the leap to become American! What you said is absolutely true! Ironically enough, this summer I am teaching American Government to High School Seniors who are 17 or 18 years old and NONE of them knew who the current Vice President is, and NONE of them knew the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives! Oy vey! Hopefully, I will be able to make them more informed voters and this knowledge I am teaching them will come in handy in November 2012. Also, I have A LOT of respect for gerim--they tend to be a lot more committed to Judaism than even a lot of people who are frum from birth, and they tend to be extremely well educated and informed about Judaica topics. Anyways, thanks for sharing this lovely blog and please do keep us posted. G-D Bless America, and G-D bless YOU, Lori!

(1) Howie, June 19, 2011 2:16 PM

Good luck Lori!!!

I know we as Jews really don't believe in luck, so let me just say I'm sure you'll do fine....I'm pulling for you. Keep us posted. (Love your weekly clip!)


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