in Spanish Town, Jamaica by his Grandma Pearl, Yoseph Robinson, like most
of the island kids, thought of the United States as of kind of utopia.
It was a fantasy come true when he and his two sisters were finally able
to join his parents in Midwood [Flatbush?], Brooklyn in 1989. At the age
of 12, he exchanged his slower-paced life of mango-picking, fresh water
fishing, and swimming for an Americanized one filled with stylized clothes,
girls, and worries about being cool enough.
Constant disobedience in school and a strained relationship with his parents during his teenage years led Yoseph to drop out of high school was he was just 16. Influenced by a group of older kids and in need of money, Yoseph entered the world of drug deals, street crime, and violence. His reckless lifestyle took him to the Bronx, Philly, and finally LA, where he invested in a lucrative hip hop label.
But by the time he was 23 years old, Yoseph knew he had to leave the affluent Hollywood scene behind in order to physically and mentally survive. He turned to Judaism as a means to surrender control, accept humility, and educate.
Yoseph persevered through many highs and lows in his lifetime, but converting to Judaism continues to be the most challenging transition by far. His struggles, transformation, and experiences as a black Jewish man in the United States have inspired Yoseph to write a book. [Book titled coming soon, for more details about the book project, click here].
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