‘RHONY’: Leah McSweeney discloses why she converted to Judaism


The Real Housewives of New York City’s Leah McSweeney admitted that the pandemic has prompted her to make a number of changes. She upgraded her apartment, got a new dog and pushed ahead with her conversion to Judaism.

Speaking to her sister Sarah, she admitted that she was nervous about the conversion, celebrating Yom Kippur for the first time. “It’s becoming very real to me right now that I’m taking these steps,” she said. McSweeney explained why she decided to convert, revealing that it was not a decision she made lightly or recently.

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“I’ve been thinking about converting to Judaism for many, many years,” she shared in a confessional interview during the first episode of Season 13. “Then, when Covid came along, I had, I would say, the only period of my life where I felt very separate from God. I stopped drinking again. And I got a very deep calling to convert to Judaism.”

So she told her sister that she wanted to convert to the Orthodox faith, whereupon her sister suggested she reconsider. “It’s the right way to go,” McSweeney said. “It’s the way I’m doing it.” One issue is the way McSweeney dresses, which the rabbi brought up to her.


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“I don’t want to be more modest,” McSweeney laughed. She added in a confession, “I’m attracted to the challenge. I think I’m attracted to all the rules and rituals and prayers. And look, it’s not like I’m going to convert and that’s it. I’m a Jew. Conversion is the beginning of me.”

“I’ve always had a strong connection to God,” she told Women’s Health. “Now it’s time for me to make my life what I want it to be.”

Meanwhile, Leah McSweeney says she’s been holding herself back.

McSweeney shared that she actually held back during her first season on the show. “I was dealing with settling in, getting used to this new career, whatever that is, and just learning how to deal with these women,” she told Women’s Health. “I realized I bit my tongue so hard that I needed to say what was on my mind.”

She regrets a few things from last season. “Obviously, when you meet someone, you can’t just say everything that’s on your mind,” she said. Adding, “I wish I had done more with Dorinda [Medley] and Tinsley’s [Mortimer] issues. That was a regret, for sure.”


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McSweeney also shot this season sober for several reasons. “I had been trying to quit for a couple of months,” she said. “And, you know, I think it was a decision and maybe a little bit of divine intervention, which I always think it is in a way.”

Adding, “It’s very hard to drink in a light and fun way during a one-time pandemic when you’re stuck at home and people are dying everywhere. So yeah, I think that definitely stalled things out.”

The Real Housewives of New York City airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.


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