Posts Tagged: conversion

Public Affirmation



by Janine PrestonTemple Or Rishon, Orangevale, CA Anyone who really, really knows me was not surprised to receive the announcement of my conversion to Judaism. When I very seriously told my two best friends from college about my decision last fall, they started to laugh. “Janine,” they said, “you have been talking about this since […]

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Feeling Jewish



by Stephanie Seiberg Temple Emanuel, Kensington, MD When I decided to convert I wondered often if I would ever really feel Jewish? I never could have anticipated that the death of my non-Jewish father would be the event that would take me there. I had married a Jewish man several years before my father died. […]

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Conversion: Who is the Gate Keeper



By Rabbi Peter Knobel I just had the privilege of representing the Reform movement on a panel “Conversion: Who Is the Gate Keeper of the Jewish Nation” at the Israeli President’s Conference in Jerusalem, Facing Tomorrow.  These are my opening remarks: The time has come to finally recognize the religious streams as the gatekeepers of […]

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Remembering Who (You Never Knew) You Were



by Michael DoyleOriginally published on Chicago Carless Four months ago my rabbi said to me, “Unless you’re the greatestfaker ever-and I don’t think you are-how will you know when you’reready?” It was a segue into asking me whether I felt the time was rightto take the next step in my Jewish journey and write my […]

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Welcoming the Stranger



by Rabbi Jordan D. CohenTemple Anshe Sholom, Hamilton,Ontario, Canada The mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim – welcoming the stranger – for a congregational rabbi, can be one of the most satisfying mitzvot of all. When a phone call or e-mail comes in, or a new face walks in the synagogue door, asking about conversion, I know […]

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Countless Jews, a Christian Theologian, and Me



by John WoffordTemple Emanuel, Grand Rapids, MI The first Pesach Seder during my conversion process took place at the local Reform synagogue, my home-temple. As a matter of immersing myself in Jewish life before ‘making the change,’ I went to several home-hosted Seders, but the largest service was at Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. […]

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Lech Lecha: A Conversion Fellow’s Unexpected Journey



by Andi Rosenthal No one was more surprised than I when I was approached by our congregation president on the train platform in Larchmont that spring morning in 2003. All I knew was that she was a powerful, warm presence on our bimah every Friday night. But I had no idea why she wanted to […]

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Fostering Brotherhood



by Dave OneyMember of Beth Orr, Coral Springs, FLVice President, Men of Reform Judaism My family joined our synagogue in 1989. Even though I was not Jewish at the time, the men in our Brotherhood were among the first to welcome me and make me feel part of their community. Shortly thereafter, our Brotherhood began […]

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Creating Beyond Shalom



by Loree B. Resnik The first member of the National Association for Temple Administration to write her thesis on Outreach to become a Fellow in Temple Administration was Serane Blatt, FTA of North Shore Congregation Israel in Highland Park, IL. The second was me. While a member of the Outreach Commission, it became obvious to […]

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Ve’Nahafoch Hu: Remember what Amalek did to us – and what we did to Amalek



By Daphne Lazar-Price(Originally published in Ten Minutes of Torah) On the Shabbat before Purim, many congregations will read Parshat Zachor (Deuteronomy 25:17 – 20). In the three short verses of this parshah, we are commanded not once but twice to recall a dangerous attack on our people: we are told to remember (Zachor) what the […]

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Israel and the American Jew



I always knew I would visit Israel.  I wasn’t sure when, but I knew I would get there. Growing up, Israel was a presence. The survival of the Jewish state, in ’67 and ’73, was something my parents spoke about with concern. My close friend Judy spent summers visiting family in Israel and sharing her […]

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Welcoming the Stranger: Outreach Then and Now



by Arlene ChernowURJ Outreach Specialist A few years ago, a congregational rabbi shared his view that “Outreach won”. I wondered what that meant. It reminded me of the tension in the Jewish world in 1978 when Rabbi Alexander Schindler z”l  told a URJ Biennial that it was time to stop sitting shiva for our intermarried […]

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Beyond Accessibilty



by Larry KaufmanMember, RJ Blog Editorial Board As regular readers of this blog know, the blog, and the Reform Movement, are currently focusing special attention on accessibility issues, and numerous posts have indicated that accessibility means more than ramps and grab bars and large-type siddurim – it also means hospitality and compassion and inclusiveness.  February […]

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Welcoming Interfaith Families: A Gift That Keeps on Giving



by Arlene Chernow and Vicky FarhiURJ Congregational Outreach Specialists Recently, we read an article by Edgar Bronfman encouraging the Jewish world to welcome interfaith couples and families. Yasher koach for your intentions, Mr, Bronfman, we are in agreement and have been since 1987. That was the year that  Rabbi Alexander Schindler z”l, President of the […]

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