Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and American: A Woman's Unlikely Background

Friday, November 23, 2012

When listener Loren Levinson heard our segment on Madeleine Albright earlier this year, in which she talked about the discovery of her Jewish identity and family members that were killed during the Holocaust, it got her thinking about her own roots. Her incredible story fascinated us, as it bridged together two of the unlikeliest of cultures.

Loren was raised in Jewish family but discovered that she was an adopted baby sold on the black market. Her birth father was a Pakistani Muslim and her birth mother was a born-again Christian. As she reached out to her biological family members that had been searching for her for 35 years, she had to face the multifaceted elements of her identity and how they related. Loren describes meeting members of her family and venturing into "that alternate universe that I could step into." Her desire to perform the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj in Mecca, to visit Pakistan with her birth father, and in turn take him to Israel where she lived at one point in her life, brings about a larger issue that faces Americans: can people of such diverse backgrounds coexist?

In Loren's story the answer seems to be a heartwarming yes. Her uncles, brothers, and other family do not care that she is a Jewish women, but instead view her as one of their own. She describes the love they showed her as "astounding," something that undoubtedly makes things easier while she continues to explore her identity. You can read more about Loren's remarkable story on her blog


Loren Levinson

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Ali Rahman

Comments [3]


I every time used to study paragraph in news papers
but now as I am a user of internet therefore from now I am using
net for content, thanks to web.

Mar. 07 2013 04:53 AM
Loren from NYC

Thank you for listening, Nancy! I started answering your questions on my blog at - or you can try the link here (If it works):

Thank you again for listening and your thoughtful comment!


Nov. 26 2012 08:33 AM
Nancy H. Erdmann from Cambridge, MA

Re: 11/23/12 The story of how people think about their "identity" is a deep, multi-layered subject.
Thank you to the Take Away for approaching it. My husband (a German Jewish psychiatrist) and I
a half-German, one quarter Irish, one quarter Yankee/D.A.R. former teacher, school administrator) have seven kids, all adopted at birth or as infants.
I was particularly fascinated, so far, by Loren Levinson's comments on the subject of her attempt to find the threads of her identity and to start to weave it for herself.
I understand that the fact that she was "stolen" and "sold on the black market" was not directly related to the conversation (perhaps), but one could not help but want to know HOW she was stolen, BY WHOM, what was her adoptive family told about where the baby came from, and since she was STOLEN, how did she find her birth family. Is this part of Ms. Levinson's amazing story and journey not something which she wishes to be public?
Nancy H. Erdmann

Nov. 23 2012 11:36 AM

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