Conversion

The process of choosing Judaism is unique to each person who takes the journey. Some may choose to become Jewish through the experience of falling in love with a Jewish person and deciding to join their lives in marriage. Some may choose Judaism as they raise Jewish children. Some who have no other connection to the Jewish community seem to know they were meant to be Jewish all along. We provide a path for joining the Jewish people for those individuals who choose to identify with our history, heritage, and hopes for the future.

We welcome individuals who want to join the Jewish people by identifying with our history, heritage, and hopes for the future. We believe that identification as a Jew is a statement of self-affirmation. Some have chosen this path through their marriage to a Jewish partner, sometimes before the wedding but not infrequently, many years later. Others have made this statement on their own independent of any personal relationship. Whether one formally joins the Jewish people or not, the non-Jewish members of our families are fully welcome to participate as members of our communities.

For Humanistic Judaism, the term “conversion” is actually no longer considered appropriate to describe this transformation. “Conversion” describes a religious, even mystical act, brought on by the exchange of one set of beliefs for another and often accompanied by a transformative ritual. We prefer to characterize the event that welcomes the newcomer as an “adoption into the Jewish family.”

Generally, the process begins with a course of study and immersion in Jewish culture that culminates in a ceremony of affirmation. When a person declares him or herself to be Jewish it is important for the individual to gain public confirmation of his or her private declaration. It is equally important for the community to have the opportunity to embrace a newcomer with joy and enthusiasm. We are all enriched by these experiences.

Rabbi Mitch and our Jewish community welcome all who undertake serious study, deliberative thought and practice to join the Jewish community in the ritual of conversion. Although one need not convert to Judaism to participate in lifecycle events within a Jewish family, those who have converted to Judaism are encouraged to learn, over a significant period of time, in a way that profoundly impacts all future Jewish observances. Arrangements for study are also made with Rabbi Mitch, who can share additional resources on the details of conversion study and the ritual.

Shalom U’Veracha – With Peace and Blessing, Rabbi Mitch

If you have any questions and you would like to talk with Rabbi Mitch Feld please call him directly at 954-755-3764