Multi-ethnic Jewish gathering

A San Francisco conference of Jewish leaders from Africa, Latin America and Europe will address conversion issues.

The four-day conference starting Friday and organized by Be’chol Lashon (In Every Language), a group promoting the Jewish status of far-flung communities, “is the largest conference of Black, Asian, Latino, and mix-raced Jewish leaders,” the group said in a statement.

“One of the most critical issues facing Jews around the world today is how we deal with conversion,” the statement said. “Does Judaism want to be part of the marketplace of world religions or not?”

Participants include leaders from communities in South Africa and Uganda that claim descent from the ancient Jewish dispersals, as well as descendants in Spain and Latin America of Jews forced by the Inquisition to convert.

Be’chol Lashon is affiliated with the Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

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