Comedian Sarah Silverman's Sister Susan, Is a Rabbi with a Huge Mission - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, September 26, 2022

Comedian Sarah Silverman’s Sister Susan, Is a Rabbi with a Huge Mission

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In addition to focusing on the importance of international adoptions, Rabbi Susan Silverman has taken part in demonstrations with the Women of the Wall group in Jerusalem. She is pictured here (middle with dark hair) and her daughter Hallel (right) when they refused to remove their tallitot at the Kotel

Comedian Sarah Silverman has been noted to make off colors jokes about religion but showing not all siblings are alike, her older sister is a rabbi with an important mission: raising awareness about the importance of international adoption.

Susan Silverman resides in Jerusalem with her husband and their five children: Aliza, 23; Hallel, 21; Adar, 17; Zamir, 14; and Ashira, 12. She wrote a book about her family, including the process of adopting her two sons, Adar and Zamir, from Ethiopia.

In “Casting Lots: Creating Family In A Beautiful and Broken World,” out this week, Silverman makes the case that international adoption, which has dropped off dramatically in recent years — from 45,000 in 2004 to 7,200 in 2013 — needs to be more affordable.

Silverman stated that you have thousands of healthy adoption but one goes wrong and suddenly there’s a hault on adopting. The State Department is interested in helping the adoption process goes smoothly.

“It’s obscene that we have made it so expensive,” she says. “People think it’s better that countries send money to feed and clothe a child who is suffering in an institution than to allow for low-cost adoptions.”

But Silverman, 52, also writes about the happiness of parenting and about her own childhood, growing up alongside her three sisters. She’s the only one with kids, and her siblings “are all madly in love with their nieces and nephews.”

As far as her sister joking about Judaism, Susan doesn’t take it to heart. In fact, she said, “I love it. I feel really strongly that we can’t take ourselves too seriously.” Also, cursing runs in the family. “I swear like a sailor,” she admits.

But Silverman says the difference a loving family can make is no laughing matter. “We’re responsible for all the kids in the world, not just the ones we might encounter in our everyday lives,” she says. “We need to use our imaginations to see the faces of all the children in the world.”

Stacy Morgan

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