1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How can one convert to Judaism?


Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner

Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner

Question: How can one convert to Judaism?

Answer: The first step in converting to Judaism is finding a teacher and mentor. In many communities, rabbis have some form of a shared Conversion Institute. In choosing your teacher/mentor, think about which branch of Judaism (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist or Orthodox) works best for you. Interview the rabbis of the different movements as they interview you. Visit the synagogues of the different movements to investigate which is most comfortable for you.

In my experience as the teacher/mentor of someone converting to Judaism, I have required at least nine months of instruction. I think this amount of time is necessary to become familiar with the Jewish calendar (Rosh HaShana through Shavuot - at least), Jewish history, Jewish philosophy and theology, Jewish holy books, Jewish Law and customs (life cycle events, holidays, ...), and a reading fluency with Jewish worship for home and synagogue.

Immersion in the ritual bath (mikveh) and, for men, circumcision (brit milah) or symbolic circumcision (hatafat dam brit) fulfills the Conservative movement's conversion requirements.

If you look and can't find someone to be your mentor/teacher/rabbi, please email me and let me know which communities are closest to you.

More Judaism Q&A

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.