Rabbi Shmuley Daughter, Son, Fast Facts

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Shmuel “Shmuley” Boteach, born on November 19, 1966, is an American Orthodox rabbi, author, TV host, and public speaker.

Boteach authored “Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy” in 1999, a book that openly addresses topics of intimacy and sexual relations.

Newsweek magazine recognized Boteach as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in the United States for three consecutive years, ranking seventh in 2009.

Early in his career, Boteach received rabbinic ordination from the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement in 1988 and later served as a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Oxford, England, founding the L’Chaim Society.

While leading the L’Chaim Society, Boteach faced criticism for his strategies, choice of speakers, and his decision to include non-Jewish members, which led to a significant portion of the group.

In 1999, the British Charity Commission investigated the L’Chaim Society for possible fund misallocation, resulting in a report from The Guardian mentioning Boteach’s lack of the required rabbinical certificate.

Boteach hosted the television series “Shalom in the Home” in 2006, a reality show on TLC where he provided counsel and advice on relationships and family matters.

He also hosted a weekly radio show called “The Shmuley Show” on WABC and made appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show and other television programs.

During the 1990s, Boteach became a friend and spiritual advisor to Michael Jackson, which drew criticism from some Jewish commentators.

Boteach strongly supported Jackson, dismissing allegations against him and becoming involved in Jackson’s charity initiatives, including “Heal the Kids” or “Time for Kids.”

After Jackson’s death, Boteach published “The Michael Jackson Tapes,” a collection of taped conversations with the pop icon, stating it was Jackson’s wish to have them published.

In recent years, Boteach has expressed views on homosexuality that differ from traditional Orthodox perspectives, advocating for gay civil unions.

Known for his flamboyance and self-promotion, Boteach’s views and writings, including discussions on sex, have sometimes caused controversy within the Orthodox community.

In 2008, he debated with Messianic Jewish leader Michael L. Brown on the compatibility of belief in Jesus with Judaism, drawing criticism from some British Jewish leaders.

Despite his controversial views, Boteach has been recognized for his influence within the Jewish community, consistently ranking on Newsweek’s “Top 50 Rabbis in America” list from 2007 to 2009.

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Rabbi Shmuley, labeled “the most famous rabbi in America” by Newsweek, expressed admiration for Mormons, citing their emphasis on family, lay ministry, and zealous proselytizing.

Rabbi Shmuley recounted instances of defending Latter-day Saints, such as after controversies over posthumous baptisms and when Jon Huntsman Jr. and Mitt Romney faced scrutiny in the 2012 presidential race.

While on a road trip to Yellowstone this year, Rabbi Shmuley recorded a video praising the connection between the Mormon Church and the Jewish community, highlighting commonalities like the Word of Wisdom and family home evening.

Rabbi Shmuley’s memories of meeting with former church president Gordon B. Hinckley and advocating for the reopening of Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem campus during the second intifada remain vivid.

Despite his diverse experiences, Rabbi Shmuley stays connected to his spiritual roots, preparing to release a new book, “Kosher Hate,” challenging societal notions of forgiveness and evil.

Rabbi Shmuley, recognized for his role as “America’s Rabbi,” embraces his unique trajectory, including a 2012 run for the U.S. House of Representatives and hosting the reality TV show “Shalom in the Home.”

His unapologetic presence in public life extends to his engagement with diverse communities, exemplified by his radio show in Utah, where he provided relationship advice and connected with Latter-day Saint women.

While Rabbi Shmuley’s forays into politics raised eyebrows, he sees his involvement as a natural extension of his mission to promote stronger families, economic self-reliance, and traditional values.

Rabbi Shmuley’s unwavering support for Israel is a central theme in his political views, praising Trump as the greatest friend of Israel and criticizing Obama’s approach as weak.

Despite facing criticism and occasional controversy, Rabbi Shmuley remains dedicated to building community, live-streaming discussions, and confronting challenging topics to foster understanding.

Rabbi Shmuley emphasized the strength of the Jewish community, even in the face of rising anti-Semitism, and highlighted the importance of supporting Israel.

Rabbi Shmuley’s commitment to his beliefs is evident in the Israeli and American flags displayed at his apartment, despite the frequent death threats he receives for his outspoken advocacy.

Undeterred by challenges, Rabbi Shmuley continues to navigate the cultural capital of the world, prepping for book launches, engaging in public discussions, and, in good humor, comparing the “Mormon smile” to the enduring spirit of his own community.