TRANSCRIPT: Rebecca Reyes on Whether Her Husband Should Be Jailed for Taking Their Child to Church

REBECCA: Being Jewish is a humongous part of who I am. I don't keep kosher, I don't go to synagogue every single weekend. That's not what I was taught to understand as the requirements of Judaism. Judaism is who I am when I wake up in the morning. It's saying the Shimah (PH) every morning and every night before I go to bed. It's lighting Shabbas (PH) candles every Friday and having Shabbas dinner, not in Hebrew, but because the family, the practice of faith in the family. I observe Passover, eight days of Passover, strictly. I observe Rosh Hashanah, I observe Yom Kippur, and I observe Purim, because my daughter has all of these greggors (PH), and we make a lot of noise. And it's thrilling.

CUOMO: I even like Purim.

REBECCA: How could you not? There's a clear good guy and a clear bad guy, it's-- it's-- it's wonderful.

CUOMO: And it was on the table that this is what you would want for your daughter?

REBECCA: We went to synagogue together almost every Friday night. He came with me when we were dating to eight hours of grueling synagogue on the High Holy Days. Three days. Two days of Rosh Hashanah, one day of Yom Kippur. That's not for the weak, I have to tell you.

CUOMO: He converted to Judaism.

REBECCA: He did.

CUOMO: After the marriage.

REBECCA: That's right. After we got-- had a Jewish wedding, and after we named Ela in the synagogue.

CUOMO: So, why'd he do it?

REBECCA: Because he chose to do it.

CUOMO: He says, "Under duress." And now that I know you box.

REBECCA: Yeah, right. And so does he. So does he.

CUOMO: That's true, that's true.

REBECCA: It's a fair fight.

CUOMO: Under duress. What does that mean to you? "I did it under duress."

REBECCA: I know what the words mean, but I can't understand what it means practically. The words mean, "under pressure." But there was no pressure. It was already a Jewish home, that's all I needed. And it's certainly all my parents needed. It had nothing to do with whether he went through the ceremony or not. But h-- it was important to him, so we chose the synagogue, based on where he wanted to convert. When we went to meet with the rabbi, the rabbi said in Jewish tradition, that it's my responsibility to say no. To make sure that you want to do this voluntarily, I'm supposed to send you away three times, and say, "No, you're not allowed to convert," and you have to come back three times. And he said, "I'm not gonna do that," 'cause I'm not Orthodox, we're Reform. "But I am going to make sh-- I'm never going to come after you. I'm never gonna ask if you're doing the reading, I'm never gonna follow up with you. This has to be completely your own thing." And Joseph did the reading, and Joseph met with the rabbi regularly, because that's what he chose to do. And then the rabbi said that there were a few things he had to do for the conversion. He had to have-- he had to go to the mikvah (PH) for a ritual bath. And he had to do the ceremony. But he didn't have to do a ritual circumcision. Joseph decided to do that. That was his decision.

CUOMO: He got circumcised?


CUOMO: Now, that's commitment.

REBECCA: No doubt. That's-- that's a Jew, right there. And th-- so, he chose to do that, because he didn't want there to be any doubt about his commitment. And--

CUOMO: Did you ask him, "Why are you doing this now, by the way? (LAUGH) You know, you coulda done it before we got married. Why now?"

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