Judaism praises the sincere convert and fully welcomes that person into the synagogue and Jewish community. People choose to become Jewish for many reasons such as those listed below in a recent poll of hundreds of converts to Judaism:
- Belief that Judaism is an attractive religion
- Feeling that God is leading them down this path
- Feeling that Jewish beliefs make sense
- Liking Jewish worship
- Liking the realism in Jewish practices
- Sense of spiritual or religious need
- Search for a better religious identity
- Concern for religious identity of children
- Desire for a Jewish wedding
- Desire to provide children with a coherent family tradition and religion
- Desire to share faith and practice with partner
- Admiration of Jewish accomplishments in the face of hostilities
- Desire to belong to a close community
- Desire to be part of an ancient heritage which has withstood the test of time
- Feeling that Jews live desirable lives
- Many Jewish friends
Although not every one of these categories may reflect a person’s motivation to convert to Judaism, they do demonstrate that there are numerous authentic and legitimate motivations to become a practicing Jew.
Beth Tzedec’s Keruv (Conversion) Class
Keruv is the Hebrew word for “drawing near” and incorporates the primary components of the conversion process to Judaism which are study and experience. The Keruv (Conversion) Class is a 9 month course that explores the many dimensions of Jewish belief, worship and practice along with the history of the Jewish People and their relationship to the land and state of Israel. The Jewish calendar with its holidays will be highlighted as they occur during the course.
This class is intended primarily for those persons interested in exploring Judaism as their religious faith as well as for individuals interested in increasing their general knowledge about Judaism. Jewish spouses, fiances, and significant others are encouraged to join the class as an expression of support and to build a common base of Judaic knowledge and experience that will enhance the overall relationship.
(Please know that participation in this class in no way obligates you to convert to Judaism nor does it represent an agreement on my part to accept you as a convert once the class has been completed. All matters regarding conversion must be discussed privately.)
The class is held in the Library of Beth Tzedec Congregation on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm from September through the first weeks of June. The class will feature a Hebrew reading/language component for approximately 30 minutes followed by an hour of Jewish studies. There is a $300 charge for the course which covers administrative fees and the purchase of the recommended texts (it can be paid in installments or reduced in case of hardship).
If you are interested in taking this class and considering the process of conversion to Judaism, please contact Rabbi Cantor Russell G. Jayne at the synagogue office (403-255-8688) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.