Think JewishThe truth about conversion
We are here to help persons seeking information about converting to Judaism. There are many misunderstandings about what exactly does it mean to be Jewish which naturally leads to confusion about converting to Judaism.
We remove the confusion
What to know about the convert
The convert plays an important role in Judaism. All the souls of the future converts were at Mount Sinai at the time of the giving of the Torah and the teaching of the Ten Commandments by G-d Himself.
Some of the greatest scholars and leaders of the Jewish People were either children of converts or were converts themselves. Shmaya and Avtalyan were leaders in the Torah Academy of their day and were part of the chain of the 40 scholars of 40 generations from Moses until the completion of the Talmud.
Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Meir were both children of converts and were among the leading scholars of the Mishna.
Our sages said that one of the reasons the Jewish People were destined to go into exile was to find the souls of the converts and bring them into Judaism. We do not look for converts, on the contrary if someone comes to convert we are meant to discourage this person. However, once a person becomes a convert we are obliged to treat them with the utmost of respect. The Torah underscores the command to respect the convert no less than 36 times.
The convert wants to know…………
We have answers
There are many Jews who don’t keep anything Jewish, yet the rabbis demand full observance to convert to Judaism. Is that fair?
You have a very good point. Religion, after all, is all about belief. If you believe, you’re in; if not, you’re out. So why can’t anyone who believes in the Jewish religion be considered Jewish—even without the conversion? And why are those who don’t believe and don’t keep any of the Jewish practices still considered Jews?
That’s what happens when you view the Jewish people through another people’s lexicon—it all looks very puzzling. What, though, if we look at ourselves through our own language, through the original Hebrew?
Who is a Jew?
Israel in the Torah
The land of Israel is essential to the existence of the Jewish People.
Most Israeli Jews want more lenient, welcoming state conversions Israel Democracy Institute survey finds plurality want to see private conversion courts for each Jewish stream; 71% back IDF’s conversion program Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau (L) and Sephardi Chief...
You cannot fight with G-d and hope to win! WHO IS A JEW IN THE JEWISH STATE? Israel’s increasingly extremist religious authorities have, in recent years, rejected the Jewish identities of almost a half-million immigrants to Israel. BY SETH FARBER APRIL...
Book Review: ‘Radical Inclusion’ By Donald H. Harrison Donald H. Harrison SAN DIEGO – If I understand author Edmund Case’s basic premise, it is if people “do Jewish,” then for all practical purposes, they are members of the Jewish community and ought to be recognized...
Conversion to Judaism: An interview with Rabbi Maury Kelman One of the topics that cuts to the heart of the Jewish world today is conversion. For over a decade and a half Rabbi Maury Kelman has been teaching about the issue through his New York based...
YU Profiles: The Making of a President — The Story of Nolan Edmonson By: Yosef Lemel and Michael Weiner | Features | March 31, 2019 Share Tweet Share Share Share Growing up in Montclair, New Jersey, Nolan Edmonson...
INTERVIEW Jamaica Kincaid is black and Jewish — but she’s through talking about identity Speaking with The Times of Israel on the sidelines of the National Library of Israel’s Global Forum, the acclaimed author shares her thoughts on migration and religion...
I am not Jewish - unfortunately. If I were Jewish I could make Aliyah and settle definitely in your marvelous homeland. I had the privilege of living four years in Jerusalem. I blessed every day I lived there, enjoying the warmth and easy familiarity with which...
Why Is Conversion to Judaism So Hard? By Tzvi Freeman Question: There are many Jews who don’t keep anything Jewish, yet the rabbis demand full observance to convert to Judaism. Is that fair? Response: You have a very good point. Religion, after all, is all about...
Building an Inclusive and Vibrant Community in a Time eof Disconnection and Fear By Rabbi Lizz Goldstein, Congregation Ner Shalom Hate crime statistics across the board rose significantly from 2016 to 2017 (the data for 2018 isn’t publicly available yet)....
Recently a convert to Judaism from Mexico came and spoke at my school, Foxman Torah Institute, a Jewish boys high school in Cherry Hill. He spoke to us about the importance of G-d, Judaism, and finding meaning in life. As a young boy, Jerson Yañez, like most Mexican...
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