Conversion to Judaism
Our next intake for our Introduction to Judaism programme is end of April 2023.
We offer this 40-session course annually for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of Jewish life through a Reform lens.
This course is open to all, and is perfect for interfaith couples, those raising Jewish children, spiritual seekers, individuals pursuing or considering conversion, and Jews who want a meaningful chance to reconnect with their Judaism as an adult.
Topics include: holidays, life cycle celebrations, theology and core beliefs, Hebrew, prayer, the Torah and other sacred texts, history, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Zionism and Israel, the British Jewish experience, and the tapestry of the Jewish people today.
For questions about this course, or any of our adult learning programmes, please feel free to contact us by email to email@example.com
Becoming Jewish ?!
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. Therefore, 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. A conversion with us is therefore 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 our Rabbi, 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 genrally 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.
In summery, 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.
Why should someone convert to Judaism?
The decision to convert to Judaism is a personal and deeply meaningful choice that can be influenced by many factors. Here we share some general reasons why people may choose to convert to Judaism
A spiritual connection: Some individuals may feel a strong spiritual connection to Judaism and are drawn to the religion’s teachings, traditions, and values. They may find meaning in Jewish beliefs and practices, and may feel a sense of belonging within the Jewish community.
A cultural or ancestral connection: Some people choose to convert to Judaism because they have a cultural or ancestral connection to the religion. They may have Jewish family members or ancestors, or may feel a connection to Jewish history and culture.
A desire for community: For some individuals, converting to Judaism may offer a sense of community and belonging. They may be drawn to the social and cultural aspects of Judaism, such as celebrations and gatherings with other Jews.
A commitment to social justice: Many individuals are drawn to Judaism because of its commitment to social justice and ethical living. The religion emphasises helping others and making the world a better place, and many converts may feel a sense of fulfillment in working towards these goals.
It’s important to note that conversion to Judaism is a rigorous and involved process, and it may not be for everyone. Anyone considering conversion should speak with Rabbi Adrian Schell to learn more about the process and determine if it is the right choice for them.