Conversion to Judaism is a process that takes place over many months, requiring the following steps:
In this initial meeting, I will ask you to introduce yourself and share what is bringing you to your exploration of Judaism at this time. This is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about the process or Judaism in general.
Participation in Discovering Judaism is a requirement of conversion at Congregation Rodeph Sholom. Over the course of your study, you will explore holidays, lifecycles, theology, sacred texts, history, and personal practices of Judaism. All class sessions are taught by Rodeph Sholom clergy.
Those seeking to convert to Judaism will be assigned a clergy mentor after their first month in Discovering Judaism who you will meet with about once a month for guidance, reflection, and study.
This experience will be different for each conversion student as you are encouraged to delve deeper into topics from Discovering Judaism that interested you. You will also attend worship services, holiday celebrations, and programs here at Congregation Rodeph Sholom as well as in the wider Jewish community.
When both you and your clergy mentor feel that you are ready, a beit din (a rabbinic court of three learned Jews) will be convened. At this meeting, you will share your personal statement and then answer questions from members of the beit din. This is followed by a visit to the mikvah (ritual bath). This immersion ceremony, serving as a spiritual renewal, will prepare you to live a fulfilling Jewish life – immersing yourself in Jewish wisdom and community.
Rabbi Deborah Goldberg
No. Your tuition fee will include membership benefits while you are enrolled in Discovering Judaism – we welcome all who are seeking a place to learn more about Judaism and Jewish community
There is no tuition to participate in Discovering Judaism if you are a member of Congregation Rodeph Sholom.
No. Discovering Judaism is the place for anyone looking to learn more about Judaism. Some of our students enter the class knowing that conversion is the path for them, others know that conversion is not for them, and still some enter wondering where this journey will take them.
Jewish partners of those signed up for Discovering Judaism are strongly encouraged to take this course with their partner.
No. There is absolutely no expectation that you will convert to Judaism. If you sign up with the intention of converting and later decide that this is not right for you, you are still welcome to finish the course. Anyone contemplating conversion will be paired with a clergy mentor; your meetings with your mentor will help you discern the right path for you.
The timeline of conversion is different for every person. You and your clergy mentor will discuss your ideal timeline during your one-on-ones. We typically recommend that someone spend an entire calendar year experiencing all of the Jewish holidays and exploring Judaism before coming to the beit din (council of clergy).
See the schedule here. At this time, we are asking that all students commit to participating in person as much as possible. Of course, we do not want anyone to attend when sick, so we will provide a Zoom link on an as-needed basis. Our Discovering Judaism experience focuses heavily on building a community of learners and we find that this is most successful when participants are in person together.