Welcome to Judaism

Jews by Choice, or individuals who have chosen to convert to Judaism (or who are considering converting to Judaism) are an integral part of the Anshai Emeth community. Our congregation and our rabbi make no distinction between those who are “Jews by birth” and those who are “Jews by choice.” In addition, individuals who have not converted to Judaism but who are interested in exploring or just experiencing Judaism are always welcome to join our community and our programs. At Anshai Emeth we are an open and affirming egalitarian community, and we welcome people of all genders, sexual-orientations, ethnicities, and religious histories as full members of our community.

Becoming a Jew by Choice at Anshai Emeth – The Process

Most people who are considering converting to Judaism have a lot of questions about the process. At Anshai Emeth, as at most congregations in the Jewish community, conversion takes at least a year. This timeline is intended to give individuals an opportunity to experience all parts of the Jewish year, to learn about Judaism, and to carefully consider their decision.

If you are interested in converting to Judaism, we would be happy to meet with you, and we will be with you every step of the way. In addition, if you begin a conversion process and ultimately decide that converting to Judaism is not for you (for any reason), there is no pressure! We will be grateful for our relationship with you in whatever form that takes.

The following is a very brief summary of the steps we ask people to take before becoming a Jew by choice at Anshai Emeth. Of course, we will give you more detail on all of these steps when we meet with you!

  1. Engage in at least one year of study and exploration—follow through the year of the holiday cycle, being conscious of and learning about each holiday on the Jewish calendar

  2. Be a regular presence in our Beit Midrash (study) – Tuesdays 6:00-8:00pm.

  3. Participate in the Anshai Emeth community—become involved in the activities and classes of the congregation that are of interest to you

  4. Become familiar with Hebrew —learn the basics and the aleph/bet (Hebrew alphabet).

  5. Meet regularly with our Rabbi [every 4-6 weeks]; it is up to you to schedule these appointments.

  6. Meet regularly with our Interfaith & Outreach Coordinator

  7. Attend Torah Study (offered at 10am on Saturdays)

  8. Attend services regularly and learn prayers and music – held at 7:30pm Friday & 10:00am Saturday

  9. Choose a Hebrew name

  10. Meet with the beit din and go to the Mikvah (and for men: hatafat dam brit or brit milah)

  11. Congregational ceremony where you will receive the Torah, lead the congregation in the Sh’ma, and give a d’var Torah – a teaching on that week’s Torah portion (generally two pages, double-spaced – don’t worry, we’ll help if you need it!)

To schedule an initial meeting, please contact Rabbi Milkow Rabbi@AnshaiEmeth.org.

To take a look at our conversion resources please click here

(thanks go to Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, MO for creating this wonderful page!)