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Semi-Homemade, Totally Jewish

Turns out Sandra Lee converted a decade ago

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Sandra Lee last month.(Andrew H. Walker/Getty Image)

Did you know that Sandra Lee, New York’s unofficial First Lady and queen bee of the Semi-Homemade housekeeping empire, is Jewish? If not, don’t feel bad: We didn’t, either, and neither, apparently, did the city’s other daily online magazine of Jewish life and culture, which has written about Lee’s Christmas gifts to the daughters of her boyfriend, Governor Andrew Cuomo, but not about her conversion to Judaism a decade ago, before she married homebuilding mogul Bruce Karatz—himself the former president of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, one of the largest Reform congregations in Los Angeles.

It’s perfectly understandable that Lee—raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist and, later, a Jehovah’s Witness—doesn’t talk about it much. She and Karatz were in the midst of their divorce when she and Cuomo met, in 2005, and Karatz subsequently married Lilly Tartikoff, the widow of former NBC president Brandon Tartikoff. And while Lee’s unfortunate Kwanzaa cake is the one people love to hate, she also has an angel-food Hanukkah cake that brought forth a torrent of ire from food bloggers.

Thankfully, New York’s Benjamin Wells is on the case. In his profile—which you really ought to read, from beginning to end—he casts the conversion as part of Lee’s dramatic jump up the class ladder, from oldest sister maximizing her family’s food-stamp allowance to Real Housewife of Bel Air, driving around in a Mercedes SL600 and hanging out with Arianna Huffington while launching her TV show and a line of companion books from her garage. “She has changed names and religions and coasts,” Wells writes. “She has scaled steep socioeconomic heights and done so by eking wealth from her woes.”

The Ravenous and Resourceful Sandra Lee [NY Mag]

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like christina aguilera its doubtful that she maintained her Judaism after her divorce.

SFMom says:

The NYT article about her included a photo of Lee walking *to church* with Cuomo and his daughters. We know “once a Jew,
always a Jew” but …

No to phony conversions says:

This is not surprising in the least. Sandra Lee’s conversion, like most gentile women’s “conversions” who marry rich Jewish men, lasted as long as the marriage. It happens all the time mostly in Reform but it’s easing it’s way into the Conservative and Modern Orthodoxy. It’s a scam plain and simple.
Even Ivanka Trump, whose still married, doesn’t even try to act like a Modern Orthodox Jewish convert. She violates the Sabbath, isn’t kosher and dresses about as tznius as a stripper.
Sandra Lee was never a Jew because her “conversion” was a sham just like Ivanka Trump’s and countless others. Sandra Lee will probaly now “convert” to Catholicism to please Mr. Cuomo whose a devout Catholic until she meets a a new boyfriend whose Mormon, Muslim etc. and then the cylce will repeat.
Christina Aguilera never converted and always identified as a Christian even afer marrying her Jewish husband so this doesn’t apply to her at all.

Leonard says:

Sandra Lee said she converted because her husband wanted her to. He was also a liberal who imposed that aspect upon her life as well. After the divorce she went back to being a conservative Christian which is what she was to begin with. She is one of so many women who end up giving into husbands demands and then return to their original ideas and principles once the marriage is over. It’s sad that so many gentile women get targeted by Jewish men who end up trying to control their spiritual and political lives and even force conversion upon them. Good for Sandra Lee that she went back to being what she is most comfortable with.


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Semi-Homemade, Totally Jewish

Turns out Sandra Lee converted a decade ago

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