THE PROCESS OF CONVERSION
to Judaism involves significant changes to one’s life and lifestyle.
Judaism governs every action that a person undertakes, from the moment
he or she gets up in the morning until the moment he or she retires at
night. Judaism strives to impress upon us that we live in the presence
of G-d, and that all our activities should be viewed with this
The decision to convert to Judaism, to embrace all of its laws and
customs, will affect virtually every aspect of your life: where you
live, what and where you eat, where and how you socialize, the
relationships you will have with family members, where your children
will go to school and camp, what kind of work you do and the
expectations of the workplace in terms of work hours, travel, and
It is a commitment that cannot be made without extensive thought,
learning and preparation. The process of conversion to Judaism is a
lengthy one. Before a beit din (rabbinic court) will approve the
conversion, its members must be positive that you are fully
knowledgeable and committed to observing all of the laws and precepts of
Judaism, that you are fully integrated into the Jewish way of life and
are comfortable in the Jewish community – that you will be able to live
a full, happy and productive life as a Jew.
Our batei din, in conjunction with your “sponsoring rabbi”s, are
prepared to guide you through the process and offer the assistance
necessary in transitioning to this new lifestyle. Every convert
discovers his or her own path to Judaism based on his or her specific
life experiences and can expect to be treated with the appropriate
Frequently Asked Questions about
What is the first step towards conversion?
A potential candidate must find a Sponsoring Rabbi, who will serve as
the liaison to and make the initial contact with the regional beit din.
Any Orthodox rabbi may serve as a Sponsoring Rabbi. A Sponsoring Rabbi
may only sponsor someone who lives in his own community, with
whom he is personally familiar, and whom he is confident in recommending
as a candidate. If a potential candidate does not live in an Orthodox
community he or she must move in to one as part of the conversion process.
The respective batei din and the central office are available to assist
in locating sponsoring rabbis.
Why must a candidate for conversion live
in an Orthodox community?
While moving may involve financial and other hardships, a candidate for
conversion must realize that it is not possible to learn and absorb
Judaism and Torah living at a distance. Jewish observance must be
experienced on a daily basis, especially on Shabbat and holidays. Living
in an Orthodox community allows one to socialize with other Jews, walk
to synagogue on Shabbat, and share in community activities on a regular
Transient candidates (for example, college students or highly mobile
professionals) who cannot live in a standard Orthodox community must at
least have ongoing, reasonable access to the institutions of Orthodox
life and live within walking distance to an Orthodox minyan that meets
regularly each Shabbat and Yom Tov. The candidate must demonstrate a
strong commitment to conducting his or her life so as to maintain access
to those institutions for the rest of his or her life.
Frequently Asked Questions about Geirut (Jewish Conversion)