Category Archives: Conversion

Shabbat Jan 18

Shabbat Candles

We have found a way of life that works.
We have 3300 years of testing under every possible social, economic, political and geographical condition to prove that.
Yes, you could do it yourself—test all the possible styles of life, make comparisons and come to your own conclusions. But what a waste of precious time it will be, for yourself and for the world that could be benefiting from you. After all, how much life will you have left after reaching your conclusions? – Chabad

This “Thought for the Day” from Chabad is certainly an interesting way to make the case that deciding to accept a Jewish life will lead to more time to live a fuller life. The same could be said for many other faiths, I know, but I especially liked the point that Judaism has already been tested – for more than 3300 years, no less.

For me, Judaism has proven to be the best vessel for a set of beliefs and practices that resonate with me. I hope whatever journey you are on and whatever faith ultimately resonates with you, you will be equally content.

Thin Skin and Interfaith Marriage

Sad_sThin skin and interfaith marriage do not make for a healthy combination. I know this because when I was first married, and then again when I was first converted, I’m pretty sure I was the Princess and the Pea of anything to do with interfaith life. I also know, given my personal history, I came by this honestly. But really. That wasn’t who I wanted to be. I’ve worked hard to appreciate that the things that seem insensitive to me are often parts of a religion that does not actively seek converts, working to find a way to integrate people from a variety of backgrounds into their religious life. At this point, I get it that it’s not easy on either side. Continue reading

The Annual Women’s Seder and My Catholic Grandmother

So. I decided I would go to the annual women’s seder at our temple this year. I tend to shy away from these events because it is usually uncomfortable when “my slip shows,”  but I decided to expect the best. Plus, I was meeting up with a good friend I hadn’t seen in a while. I was kind of looking forward to it.

By the afternoon, I started to feel a bit anxious. Memories of past forays into the halls of  Sisterhood rushed back. I took a walk and drank a lot of water. Then I got this email: “Ladies-The theme of the Women’s Seder this year is Memories. We would like you to bring an artifact (piece of jewelry, photograph, wine cup, etc.) that is in memory of a significant (Jewish) woman in your life. If you do not have an artifact, then just bring the story…”  Continue reading

Your Slip is Showing: Conversion

These are the things that no one has probably thought to tell you about conversion in the Reform movement. You’ll be glad to know them. Believe me.

  1. In conversion class, when you get to the page with the Thirteen Articles of Maimonides, do not get excited. Do not  highlight them and think you have found the answer to what you need to know about Judaism. This is just one opinion of one man at one time in his life. Judaism does not lay things out in a neat list like this. Read more

Things You Need to Know: Conversion

Things you need to know about conversion in the Reform movement:

  1. You will study with your rabbi for about a year. You may also take a Shehecheyanuconversion class with people from several different movements and synagogues. The rabbis from the various congregations may take turns leading these classes. It’s a good opportunity to discover and discuss the difference in observance by different movements.
  2. There is a lot to read and think about. Some of the books will be about conversion. Some will be about Judaism. There will be Jewish history and also at least a bit of Hebrew.

Read more

Conversion

I never intended to become Jewish. When I read the interfaith books that were available before my marriage and realized that many times they’d been written by women who had converted after years of marriage, I vowed I’d always maintain my identity. It wasn’t until years later that I began to understand what might have led those women to make the decision they had. Read more

Welcome

This blog is for those of us who have chosen Judaism or are exploring ways in which Judaism will be a part of your life. After many years in an interfaith marriage, I chose to convert and discovered there is a lot to learn about Judaism. There is also a lot to learn about yourself – especially about yourself as a Jew. For me, once the decision to convert was made, I was calm and settled about it. Because of that, I was surprised to find I felt something was missing once I converted.

I mean, I stepped out of the mikvah with plenty of knowledge of what Jews do, but no real insight into what I would do as a Jew. What followed was a period of extended study and questioning, along with experimentation with different aspects of Judiasm. Ultimately I came to an appreciation of myself as a Jewish woman.

This category of this site has information for those who have wrestled with similar issues – or not. Please comment about your experiences and feel free to suggest topics for future posts.

I hope to see you here often.