January 03, 2018

Not often do you find a Lao Jewish person

Original Title:  A Refugee from Laos Finds a Home in the Jewish Community
By:  Ruth Abusch Magder, MyJewishLearning.com, August 8, 2017

Souksavat Soukhaseum
 Souksavat Soukhaseum.  Photo Credit:  Julian Voloj.

Souksavat Soukhaseum, or Souks as he is known, was born in Laos, grew up as a Buddhist, came of age in California and now lives as a Jew in Queens, NY. Be’chol Lashon caught up with him to learn more about his background and journey.

Team Be’chol Lashon: Your family is Buddhist, how did you come to Judaism?

Souks: Well, I grew up in San Francisco. My first introduction to Judaism was through a boyfriend who was a holiday Jew. I liked that Jews told stories. They are not afraid to talk about their stories, even their suffering. I really liked that. There is a real sense of community and connection in Judaism. A sense of belonging. When I came to New York, I also had a Jewish boyfriend, one who kept kosher.

So I started educating myself. Reform Judaism really speaks to me. It is so welcoming and is so glad to have everyone come as they are. I really feel at home in Judaism.

Team Be’chol Lashon: How did your family feel about you converting?

Souks: At first they were confused because they did not know much about Judaism. But then they were happy. As long as I am living a good life, not hurting others, being moral, then they are happy.

To read the rest of this article and interview, please click here to go over to the source.

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