At age 14, Jacob Stein read The Source by James Michener. This triggered his interest in Judaism and he began reading every book he could find on the topic.
“I would take these long walks in the park and think about all these questions about religion and spirituality… I thought the lack of violence and substance abuse in the Orthodox communities impressed me that the Torah represented divine wisdom.”
“I started living like a marrano, studying and practicing Judaism to some extent [in a home that hated Jews] but nobody else could know about it.”
Jacob visited his first Orthodox shul (in New Square) at Simchat Torah 1976 where he became friends with Avraham Stock, a convert to Judaism.
When Jacob’s adoptive parents kicked him out of the house for pursuing his Jewish interests, he moved in with his new friend in Monsey.
Two weeks before Pesach, 1977, Jacob and half a dozen rabbis from Monsey visited Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in the lower East Side to find out about his conversion.