Israel may be about to import another self-anointeded Jew, this time New York Knicks start Amar’e Stoudemire, who claims he has Jewish roots.
His agent Happy Walters told New York magazine that the Knicks’ power forward is ”getting citizenship.” He added, ”He applied, and he’s there now,” meaning he is touring Israel.
Stoudemire went to Israel for the Maccabiah Games as the assistant coach of the Canadian basketball squad. The games ended earlier this week.
At his wedding last year to Alexis Welch, Stoudemire donned a kippa and prayer shawl for the “Hebraic” ceremony. In July, he announced he had become a part owner in the Israeli basketball club HaPoel Jerusalem.
He told the JTA in an exclusive interview last month that, he is in regular dialogue with New York rabbis, studies Torah and observes the High Holidays.
“I’m not a religious person, I’m more of a spiritual person, so I follow the rules of the Bible that coordinate with and connect with the Hebrew culture,” Stoudemire told JTA.
In other words, he picks and chooses from the Torah whatever suits him.
The JTA contributed to this article.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu