Getting Started

Getting Started

This website was designed to help prospective converts obtain a widely recognized Orthodox conversion. In order to do this one will need: a widely recognized Orthodox Rabbinic Court, an Orthodox Sponsoring Rabbi, an Orthodox synagogue and community, an elementary Torah education and a significant commitment to a Torah spiritual practice and lifestyle. This website is designed to help you find these resources and navigate the different components of a successful halakhic conversion.

This website is of significant value in pursuing an “Orthodox” conversion to Judaism, you may be aware that there are other denominations within Judaism namely: Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Renewal each with their own variegated theology, way of worship and living. The Orthodox Jewish community does not recognize the spiritual and legal authority of these heterodox movements and their leadership and as a result the Orthodox community does not accept conversions performed under the auspices of these movements and their representatives. If one is interested in understanding why the Orthodox rabbinate and laity vigorously reject non-orthodox conversions to Judaism then one is advised to read the essay entitled Who is a Convert? The Orthodox Rejection of Non-Orthodox Conversions, this essay available in the Essays section of the Education page of this site explains in a reader friendly yet scholarly manner the basis for this Orthodox stance. While the Orthodox community rejects the validity of Non-Orthodox Judaism’s that is not to say that Orthodoxy rejects the Jewish people who populate these movements nor is it unappreciative of the good intentions and actions of many of its leaders and followers.

Once a person has made the decision that they want to become Jewish there are essentially two reasons to pursue an Orthodox conversion to Judaism. The first reason is that you believe in one or a combination of the Orthodox approaches to God, Judaism and the world namely: Modern, Yeshiva or Hassidic based Orthodoxy/Torah. The second is that you want your conversion and or that of your family member to be recognized throughout all segments of the Jewish community and the State of Israel. To pursue an Orthodox conversion simply for the sake of recognition is not a viable option. This is the case as the process and demands that an Orthodox conversion (that will be widely recognized) will require will not be considered worthwhile in relation to the ethereal notion of the recognition of the conversion. The only sustainable approach is to develop through study and personal experience an appreciation for what a Torah way of life has to offer and to allow the Torah to speak for itself to your mind, heart and soul. One can review the Recommended Reading list found on the Education page to pursue your interest in understanding Traditional Judaism.

I wish you well in this journey of spiritual discovery of the God of Israel, Torah, the Jewish People and a Jewish way of being.

Rabbi Zecharyah Tzvi Goldman