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Rabbi Capers Funnye, a prominent African-American rabbi from Chicago and cousin of First Lady Michelle Obama, wants to diversify the Jewish faith.

“The color of a person’s skin should not matter. It is what is in that person’s heart and in that person’s soul that matters,” he told a Beverly Hills congregation on Friday.

A staunch proponent of diversity in religion and one of a handful of Black rabbis, Funnyee himself is expanding the perspectives on what it means to be Jewish. On Friday he told congregants, “We are a Jewish people linked to each other not by color or racial background, but because of our belief.”

Funnye was once asked to address a congregation of Jews in Africa. According to the synagogue’s head rabbi, David Baron, there is a long history of Jewish people on Africa’s continent. He says that Egypt is mentioned in the Bible almost as much as the “Promised Land.”



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