Essays

The Strange Case of the Half-Jewish Orthodox Priest — Who’s Also a Hedge Fund Manager

lemelsonby John I. Johnson

I CAME ACROSS the name of a hedge fund manager named Rev. Emmanuel Lemelson (pictured) in a news article.

I thought, “What?”

It turns out he’s a Greek Orthodox priest in a small town in New Hampshire who also runs a small hedge fund. I was immediately suspicious because of his name, though it turns out “Emmanuel” is an “assigned ecclesiastical name.” His birth name was “Gregory.” Anyway, I was as much on guard about “Lemelson” as “Emmanuel.”

Lemelson has a sizable Wikipedia write-up that says nothing at all about a Jewish background. What it does say is that he is “a Greek Orthodox priest, cultural leader, social activist and investment manager who has gained notability for advocating a philosophy of investment based on Christian ethics. Lemelson’s position on ecumenism and the role of the Orthodox Church have been cited in The Washington Post, CBS News, Fox News and The Boston Herald. His investment research and analysis has been cited regularly in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, Fox Business Network, and TheStreet.com and credited with influencing share prices in publicly traded companies.”

In other words, major media outlets have publicized his pronouncements on ecumenism and the role of the Orthodox Church (strictly religious matters), as well as Christian investment ethics.

But an October 2015 Wall Street Journal profile noted that “The reverend was born Gregory Lemelson to a Jewish father and Christian mother. Inspired by a college professor who was a priest, he attended seminary at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to become a priest.”

The article was titled “Hedge Fund Priest: Thou Shalt Make Money; Greek Orthodox priest boasts of ability to ‘crash’ stocks.” It was written by a journalist named Rob Copeland.

Lemelson wrote two letters in response, one quite detailed, charging the article contained “dozens of factual errors, misstatements and major errors of omission amongst a litany of insinuation and innuendo.” (He did not deny that his father was Jewish, though.) A Web site that published these letters in full shows a photo of Rob Copeland and Lemelson, and Copeland — despite his Anglo-Saxon surname — looks more Jewish than Lemelson.

Copeland and Lemelson
Copeland and Lemelson

I read Lemelson’s response and wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true. If his factual statements are correct it was a very dishonest article. Lemelson defends himself with typical Jewish vigor (actually, more politely — that’s his White half), putting the onus on the other Jew (it looks like) in a way contemporary Whites never do when they’re attacked.

A publication’s — the Wall Street Journal‘s — and a journalist’s — Copeland’s — resentment at a convert might explain the enmity displayed in the article.

Still, it’s interesting how Jews end up inside of, and influencing, organizations (e.g., the Orthodox Church) where they don’t belong.

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For Further Reading

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1 Comment

  1. March 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    As of March 20, AD 2017, Father Lemelson’s Wikipedia entry does indicate that he has a Jewish background. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Lemelson “Lemelson was born Gregory Manoli Lemelson[1] in Phoenix, Arizona, the son of a Jewish father and Christian mother.[2]”
    He came to national attention in October 2015 when he blessed our current president, Donald Trump at a campaign rally. https://www.thenationalherald.com/102394/trump-blessed-by-greek-priest/
    Over the centuries, there have been a few instances where Jews did really become Christians, for example Benjamin Freedman although we certainly should regard such conversions with vigilance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_H._Freedman
    and exposed our enemy. Until I see evidence to the contrary I will assume that Father Lemelson is a sincere Christian and a good American. Please continue your vigilance and inform us of any new developments in this interesting situation.

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