A Tougher Reform Road To Conversion

Stephen Wise’s revamped program signals new rigor for ‘transformative’ step.

05/19/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Johanna Rauth began looking for a synagogue where she could go through the process of converting to Judaism, one program stood out. Instead of taking about 12 months to complete, the program took 18. Instead of requiring an average of 16 weeks of classes, the program required 30. She signed up.

Conversion student Melissa Hume and Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discuss prayers for Shabbat. Michael Datikash/JW

Shavuot: A Time For Embracing the Convert

05/18/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In the seven weeks leading up to the Festival of Shavuot (May 24-25), we count each night in anticipation of the revelation of Torah at Sinai, where we recommit ourselves to Jewish tradition, God, and the Jewish people. It is a time I imagine that local mikvahs (ritual baths) see an increase in visitors as the numbers of conversions are completed during this time.

Rabbi Rachel Ain

Consider The Parents Of Converts -- To Judaism

09/02/2014 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

What would you do if your child married out of Judaism?

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Natalie Portman’s Husband Converting to Judaism

Benjamin Millepied said he is 'in the middle of the conversion process.'

01/28/2014 - 19:00

French choreographer Benjamin Millepied, the husband of Jewish actress Natalie Portman, told an Israeli newspaper that he is converting to Judaism.

Natalie Portman’s husband Benjamin Millepied is converting to Judaism. Photo via

Tainted Names and New Jewish Identities

As I write that descendants of prominent Nazis have chosen to live in Israel today, and that some of them – with surnames like Goering, Goebbels or Himmler -- are converted to Judaism or in process, I realize that readers will reread this sentence to make sure they didn’t misread.

Conservative Rabbi Offers 'Trial Balloon'

The movement should think about first accepting converts, and then teaching them.
03/03/2013 - 19:00
Editor and Publisher

When one of the country’s leading Conservative rabbis states publicly his discomfort with a major policy of the movement, it warrants attention and consideration.

Rabbi Elliott Cosgrove

New Book Frames Debate On Conversion

As Israel’s Rabbinate makes requirements ever stricter, historical analysis offers wider views.
01/23/2012 - 19:00
Editor And Publisher

The issue of who can become a Jew through conversion is controversial and critical to determining the essence of the Jewish character, and as timely as the current headlines from Jerusalem.

Gary Rosenblatt

Doctor, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs -- And The Chief Rabbinate

I haven’t forgotten my pledge to respond to Dr. Jack Wertheimer’s op-ed. And, of course, I still remember my earlier promise to post more articles and resources about “December Dilemma” — which from now on I’m thinking of referring to as DD or D&D. Or maybe I could call it the Kislev Konundrum, although all those K’s start sounding a bit Teutonic.

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