Although Judaism doesn’t actively proselytise, at The Wimbledon Synagogue we welcome people who are interested in the idea of converting.
Becoming a Jew involves becoming part of a people. Like all nations, the Jewish People has its own culture and civilisation, comprising of religion, language, cuisine, art forms and other facets of life. Completion of our Jews-by-choice programme is an important first step to becoming a Jew. We hope that those who join the programme will share our enthusiasm about what choosing Judaism represents, with us. Our Rabbi is also happy to talk with people who have only one Jewish parent or parents in a mixed faith relationship who would like to discuss their children’s Jewish status. There is an introduction to Judaism Course for those interested, in converting.
Abraham and Sarah were not born as Jews — they were the first to “choose Judaism”. Ruth, a convert to Judaism, was the great grandmother of King David. We recognise the tremendous contributions Jews by choice have made to Judaism. We also recognise the difficulties with personal feelings, families of origin and/or certain members of the Jewish community, in the choice.
Our Congregation’s Jews-by-Choice Programme gives instruction in the basic belief system and practice of Judaism, from a Reform, progressive point of view, as well as a basic command of the Hebrew language for the purposes of following the prayer service. The Wimbledon Synagogue follows the procedures and regulations of the Reform Beit Din, and it is from that body that applicants who wish to become Jewish will receive their certification, which is acceptable to non-Orthodox communities around the world as the Reform Movement is part of the World Union of Progressive Judaism.
Taking on a new religious identity is not a frivolous thing. In fact, it can be one of the most profound steps in a person’s life. We invite those interested in Judaism to enrol in the Introduction to Judaism class. This class, which meets weekly, includes one-on-one study with Rabbi Adrian Schell, the opportunity to attend worship services, and instruction on the ways in which one can become involved in our community in accordance with one’s interests and skills. Choosing Judaism is a highly personal journey and not bound by a time frame, but when a person is ready to join the faith, she/he/they comes before a Rabbinic Beit Din.
The duration of the Jews-by-Choice programme is a minimum of 12 to 15 months (40 classes) enabling the students to experience the full festivals’ cycle and to become acculturated into the Jewish People. The program is divided in 2 terms; intakes to join the program are in April (after Pesach) and October (after Sukkoth). We ask everyone who is planning a wedding after completion of a conversion, NOT to schedule the wedding without consulting the Rabbi.
If you are interested in becoming Jewish, please contact us at the synagogue and make an appointment to talk by clicking here.