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Former Archbishop of New York Determined to Be Jewish

June 13, 2014
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The former Archbishop of New York Cardinal John O’Connor smiles at a luncheon for St. John’s University alumni. Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images.

It turns out that Cardinal John J. O'Connor, the former Catholic archbishop of New York, is Jewish, according to research conducted by his Ridley Park-based younger sister.

Several media have reported that Mary O'Connor Ward-Donegan, 87, began researching the family roots after her daughter made an interesting discovery that Gustav Gumpel, Ward-Donegan's grandfather, was a Prussian immigrant who was buried in a Jewish cemetery in Fairfield, Conn., owned by the Bridgeport synagogue B'nai Israel.

Further investigation via the family-tree tracing service revealed that Gumpel's wife, whose maiden name appeared to be Tina Ruben, was born Jewish.

As Jewish ancestry is passed down through matriarchal lineage, Ward-Donegan and her reknowned older brother, are considered Jewish under Jewish law.

For more details on the story, click here.


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