Friday, May 9, 2014

Cardinal O'Connor's Grandfather was a שוחט

John Cardinal O’Connor, the beloved late archbishop of New York, had a grandfather who was a rabbi and a kosher butcher. No wonder he always wore a kipah!

The astonishing revelation comes after a Long Island genealogist pulled century-old records to reveal the cardinal’s grandpa, Gustav Gumple, was listed the “second rabbi” at a synagogue in Bridgeport, Conn., The Jewish Week reported.
Gumple worked at a “meat market” and may have also been a shochet — a worker trained and licensed to slaughter animals in a manner prescribed by Jewish law, according to the genealogist, Renee Steinig.
“And like many of us, he even had an Aunt Minnie,” said Steinig, a former president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island.
Steinig was inspired to dig through old records — including 19th century Census data and Hamburg emigration papers — “out of curiosity” after the cardinal’s 87-year-old sister, Mary O’Connor Ward, learned recently their mother was born Jewish.
She had converted to Catholicism at age 19 but kept it a secret from her children, Ward said.
“I was stunned, breathless at the thought . . . It was a surprise I never expected,” she wrote in a personal essay published in Catholic New York.
She added, “Soon I was filled with joy as I came to know our family story in a completely new way.”
Joseph Zwilling, a longtime spokesman for the archdiocese who knew Cardinal O’Connor well, said the religious leader had never hinted he might be Jewish.
“As far as we can tell, he was not aware of it. He certainly knew his mother was a convert and had spoken about that. But he never gave any indication she had converted from Judaism,” Zwilling said.
He added, “He had a warm relationship with Jewish people . . . I think he would have been proud.”
In some records pulled by Steinig, the cardinal’s grandpa’s name is spelled “Gumpel,” not “Gumple” — but the timeline, addresses and names of relatives match up, she said.
Ward discovered her mom had converted by reading old church records while doing research on family history.
O’Connor died in 2000 at age 80 after serving 16 years as New York’s archbishop.


Pope פיאות said...

So he was holier than the Pope! By the way Osso Ha'ish was also Jewish.

Yerachmiel Lopin said...

He favored yarmulkes out of that special waterproof fabric that breathes, GoyTex.