Former Baptist Bible Teacher now an Orthodox Jew lighting Shabbas Candles

From Sunday Bible School teacher  to Orthodox Jew

Esther Goldberger, a former Baptist teacher now an orthodox Jew creating modest clothing for Jewish women

KW:   What has been your most difficult challenge as a Kosher woman?

EG:    While teaching Sunday Bible School for teenagers for 13 years, I read
the whole Bible (Old & New Testament) 3 times in order to improve my classes. Reading about Jewish life described in the Old Testament was always interesting  & as I did not know any Jews at that time, I wondered if they still followed those rules or had just forgotten them.

So I started reading about Judaism all the time, in books & on the internet. My decision to convert horrified my Baptist family. Since there's no Orthodox Beit
Din for conversion in Brazil, I finished a Conservative conversion in Sao Paulo and moved to Israel to convert to orthodox Judaism.

KW:  How have you overcome this challenge?

EG: An orthodox woman I met told me about the Har Nof,seminary in Jerusalem.  She also told them about me.  I sent an application form and approximately 15 pages explanation of why I wanted to convert, plus a copy of the conversion certificate I already had and a letter of recommendation written by the Rabbi, saying that he truly believed that I was serious in my studies. I believe that all this, added to the fact that they saw that I was literally leaving all my life behind for good helped them to decide in taking me in. 

Just before I left to go to Israel, I went to say goodbye to my orthodox woman friend.  She knew I’d researched how to get around in Israel, where to eat & what to bring for a Sabbath gift. But she told me I’d overlooked a major detail telling me ‘I think you’re going to have to find some new clothes because you’re still dressing like a Brazilian girl.”

I left my family, my religion & my country & went to Israel. I did have my year at the seminary but it wasn’t easy since I was the only non-Jewish student there.  I had an orthodox conversion & married a wonderful Jewish man.

I’m now the proprietor of DellaSuza, a Montreal-based fashion line for religious women.   I design the label’s lightweight dresses, tops and skirts at home & produce them with a small staff at my office.

I specialize in modest clothing that can meet the demands of a religious woman’s everyday life. I use bright colors & vivid patterns, all within the confines of modesty laws.

Esther Goldberg wearing a dress she designed

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