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Jul 21, 2020

Angela Himsel’s writing has appeared in TheNew York Times, The Jewish Week, Forward, Lilith and elsewhere. Her column Angetevka” on American won two American Jewish Press Association Awards. Angela holds a BA from Indiana University, which included two years at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and an MFA from The City College of New York.

She grew up the seventh of eleven children in rural southern Indiana in a fundamentalist, doomsday, Christian faith. She converted to Judaism and lives in New York City. A River Could Be a Tree traces that journey.  


In this episode, we talk about Angela's memoir: A River Could Be A Tree. Angela shares her experience growing up in an evangelical branch of Christianity - the Worldwide Church of God.

Strict adherence to the church’s tenets, which forbade make-up, medicine, and other demonic  influences, was the only way for her to receive the Holy Spirit and live forever in God’s Kingdom.

In search of salvation, Angela decided at nineteen to study at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But instead of strengthening her faith, she was introduced to a thrilling new world. And she began to think that maybe everything she had been taught was wrong. Ultimately, the connection to God she relentlessly pursued was found in the most unexpected place: a mikvah on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. This devout Christian girl found her own form of salvation—as a practicing Jewish woman.



Book: the Bible, anything by Jane Austen

Quote: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”- Hillel

City: Jerusalem

Role model: her mom

You can find Angela here .

To order or find out more about A River Could Be A Tree check out