I think it says something good about this country that the grandson of boxing legend Muhammad Ali (a convert to Islam) can celebrate his bar mitzvah and everyone is cool with it– including Grandpa Ali, who attended the ceremony.
Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer, Jacob’s mother, told Ali biographer Thomas Hauser that though her father raised his children Muslim, he was “supportive in every way. He followed everything and looked at the Torah very closely.”
“It meant a lot to Jacob that he was there,” she told Hauser, who reported on the bar mitzvah at TheSweetScience.com.
“I was born and raised as a Muslim,” Khaliah said, “but I’m not into organized religion. I’m more spiritual than religious. My husband is Jewish. No one put any pressure on Jacob to believe one way or another. He chose this on his own because he felt a kinship with Judaism and Jewish culture.” Her husband is attorney Spencer Wertheimer.
(Hat tip: Jeffrey Goldberg)