Choosing a Jewish community

Synagogue, becoming Jewish, conversion
Do a lot of research before making contact. Photo by @struvictoryart

Which community you join is often a predetermined thing. For me, having so few options in my city made it a very easy choice.

This is not necessarily the case for everyone, particularly if you have several different congregations around you may not really know where to start.

Most of the time however you will probably have a pretty good idea of which stream of Judaism you wish to approach because of who you already know.

I would however encourage you to do your research about exactly what each stream of Judaism has to offer a convert before you dive in and contact a Rabbi. The goals you wish to achieve by converting may be better fulfilled with one stream rather than another.

For example:

  • Do you want to be considered Jewish in Israel?
  • Do you plan on keeping kosher? The full she-bang? Can you access kosher food easily?
  • Does your chosen stream of Judaism align with your personal beliefs?
  • Are there down-sides to your chosen stream that you are trying to gloss over?
  • Do you realise that a lot of Jews see converts as lesser Jews? Not that many will admit it.
  • How big a role do you honestly see Judaism playing in your life?
  • Do you realise there is a stigma to being a convert?
  • Can you give up Christmas?

Converting to Judaism is not something anyone else can do for you. The choice of which community you join that should best reflect who you are and what kind of Jewish life you want to lead. This is not something you can do half-heartedly.

Published by theundercoverjewess

Starting my conversion to Judaism...

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