Masorti Bet Din Conversions
Our movement welcomes those who wish
to convert to Judaism, and provides a comprehensive, supportive and
meaningful programme of conversion.
the services of our Bet Din are open to members of Masorti congregations
across Europe. We also accept a small number of candidates for
conversion on an individual basis, who are active and involved in other
Jewish communities. We do not accept candidates who are not involved in
Jewish communal life.
Conversion to Judaism is a major life decision with important
implications for both the individual and community. Our programme of
conversion is both supportive and demanding. Our aim is that by the end
of the programme our candidates are integrated within our communities;
knowledgeable about Jewish law and life, observant, participate in the
life of the community and feel at home within the Jewish community.
Conversion under the auspices of our Bet Din is a three-stage process.
The first stage is registration. Through initial conversations, we
assess a candidate’s suitability to our programme and whether in the
given circumstances, conversion through our Bet Din is feasible. This
will include an assessment of motivations for converting, the
availability of a local community to be involved in, local support and
availability of a teacher or mentor to guide the candidate through the
tuition. At this stage we also assess the extent of previous Jewish
knowledge in order to determine the appropriate programme of study, as
well as the degree of the candidate’s involvement in the local community
and level of personal observance.
The second stage of the programme is a period of mentoring and tuition.
The candidate is expected to learn about Jewish practice and beliefs,
Jewish life, Israel and Hebrew. They are also expected to observe
Kashrut, make Shabbat special in their home and attend the synagogue
on Shabbat and festivals. They are expected to observe the major
festivals and lifecycle events, and engage in Jewish prayer. The extent
of tuition and the amount of time it will take depend on how involved
and how much the candidate knows when coming into the programme. This
part of the programme frequently takes a year or longer. This part of
the programme concludes with a written or oral exam and submitting an
essay on an appropriate topic.
The third stage is the actual conversion, which takes place in London.
This includes appearing before our Bet Din, an interview, confirming
commitment to Jewish beliefs and practice, immersion in a Mikvah and a
ceremony and blessing. The date of the conversion will be determined by
the Bet Din according to each candidate’s individual circumstances.
Candidates are not invited to appear before the Bet Din until we feel
that they are ready to complete the conversion.
Our Bet Din is recognised by the
International Rabbinical Assembly (the World association of
Masorti/Conservative Rabbis) as one of its affiliate religious courts,
and our conversions should be recognised by Conservative/Masorti
congregations throughout the world. We adhere to all the requirements of
Jewish law. Candidates should be aware that we are not an Orthodox
Court, and generally, our proceedings (like proceedings in all other
non-Orthodox religious courts) are not generally recognised by Orthodox
Rabbis or synagogues.
At present, those who convert to
Judaism under our auspices are entitled to immigrate to Israel under the
Law of Return, providing all other requirements are met. If you are
considering immigrating to Israel you are advised to consult with your
local Israeli Consulate and Jewish Agency representatives, as well as
your local Rabbi, for up to date information. As the demands are quite
rigid, you are advised to seek advice as early as possible to avoid
disappointment. The laws of the State of Israel frequently change and we
cannot guarantee your right to immigrate to Israel.
Your first point of contact as a candidate for conversion is
your local Masorti
Rabbi. If you are unsure who to contact, you can contact the Bet Din
directly, and we will refer you to the appropriate person.
Your local Rabbi will invite you to a first interview, where you will be
able to hear about our conversion programme in greater detail and ask
questions. If you are accepted as a candidate, you will be asked to
fill in our registration forms and you will be referred to us.
The work of our conversion programme is supported by many generous
individuals who open their homes and dedicate both time and effort to
welcome new members into the Jewish community. However, we do charge a
fee for participation in the programme to enable us to continue to
provide this important service.
There is a £100 registration fee when you are accepted into the
programme. You will also be expected to join your local Masorti
community, and you (or your partner if appropriate) will be asked to pay
a standard membership fee.
The costs of the second stage depend on how much tuition is needed and
who is teaching you. You may require some private tuition. You will also
need to purchase some of the basic books used in the programme.
There is a £200.00 charge for Bet Din services when you actually come to
the Bet Din for conversion. Male candidates who require circumcision
will need to arrange for this separately. You will need to meet any
personal expenses such as travel expenses, if you do not live in London.
Full Programme of Study for
If you are interested in further
details, we have a fuller description of our conversion programmes,
together with our curriculum and suggested reading list. To request this
document please click