Most people baptized in the Catholic Church don’t come to Hebron seeking “Grandma and Grandpa,” but then, most people are not Jeremy Hoover.
Jeremy was born to a Christian father and a Jewish mother and growing up in Boulder, Colorado considered himself half-Jewish at most. He attended Catholic schools until college, where he studied journalism.
“I was always very spiritual and believed in a higher being”, says Jeremy, who first came to Israel on a Birthright trip, mostly because it was a free vacation from his communications job in local government. “At first I thought, no way they’re going to accept me; I’m baptized, and Catholic.” However, due to his Jewish parentage, Jeremy and his sister soon found themselves touring the holy land.
When he met the soldiers who accompanied his birthright trip, his perspective began to change. “It was cool to see that Israel was part of their identity,” says Jeremy, and he decided to get to know the country more.
It was a different sort of connection to a heritage he had barely known. Standing at the tombs of the patriarchs and matriarchs in Hebron, Jeremy felt a powerful pull to learn more. “That’s what we’re fighting for. That’s why people come out here, to build a relationship to something greater then themselves.”
He is proud to be delving into the deeper meaning of Judaism and eager to see what comes next. Now twenty-seven and studying at Mayanot, a lot has changed, since he first began this journey.