Conversion

The Jewish people welcome fellow travelers; anyone may seek refuge under the wings of the divine presence. People find their way to Judaism in innumerable ways – through their own search, by falling in love with a Jew, by being inspired by services or a lifecycle event – and it is important for the community to be warm and welcoming, that Knesset Israel is a tightly-knit community enables a prospective convert to get a very good taste of Jewish life over the course of a personalized, year-long conversion study program.

Many of our congregants and a fair number of our board members are Jews-by-Choice.
 
Children younger than 13, whose mother is not (or not yet) Jewish, or are adopted, may be brought to the mikveh ritual bath under the auspices of our rabbi. Please contact him for details.
 
Adults will be asked to engage in a course of study and Jewish practice, including:
  • studying basic Judaism with a mentor from the congregation;
  • learning to read Hebrew;
  • attending prayer services;
  • establishing a commitment to religious practices like observing Shabbat, praying in a Jewish context and eating kosher food;
  • becoming familiar with what it means to be a part of the Jewish people;
  • regular appointments with the rabbi;
  • and living at least one full year of the Jewish calendar ‘from the inside.’
 
When the student and the rabbi agree that the time has come for conversion, the ceremony will include a discussion with a beit din – a Jewish court comprised of members of the Rabbinical Assembly – and immersion in a mikveh – ritual bath or lake. Additionally, in keeping with the practice of Conservative Judaism, uncircumcised men are required to be circumcised; men who are already circumcised must perform hatafat dam berit. If the individual who is converting is legally married to a Jew, the couple will be encouraged to celebrate their wedding again, in a Jewish context.
 
Conversion-related Resources: