I am interested in converting to Judaism under the auspices of the Masorti Movement. What do I need to do to join one of our conversion programmes.
There are several conversion programmes run by the Conservative / Masorti Movement in the UK. These are run by the various Masorti synagogues. All of our conversion programmes are synagogue based. To find a current list of Masorti Synagogues in the UK, please visit www.masorti.org.uk. To find a current list of Masorti synagogues across Europe, please visit www.masortieurope.eu.
If you wish to convert under our auspices, the first thing you should do is visit your nearest Masorti synagogue to see if you feel at home in the community. You should then arrange to speak with the local Rabbi, who will provide you with information about the conversion programme at that synagogue.
There isn't a local Masorti community where I live. Is it possible to convert to Judaism through the Masorti Bet Din while attending an Orthodox or Reform Community?
In theory it is possible to attend any Jewish community and come before the Masorti Bet Din. We have a few candidates like this each year. There are a number of conditions that need to be met. The local Rabbi would need to support your conversion through the Masorti Bet Din and be willing to cooperate with us. You would also need to have contact with a Masorti Rabbi and community so that there was some significant Masorti input during your conversion. You would need to have a local tutor or mentor who would teach our curriculum and guide you from a Masorti perspective. The expectations in terms of your knowledge and Jewish observance would need to meet our standards.
I am interested in converting to Judaism, but my husband/wife/partner isn't. Will I still be able to convert.
The European Masorti Bet Din does not accept candidates where only one partner in a marriage is planning to convert. In our experience, this creates an environment where is is very difficult to live a full Jewish life and we do not wish to help create mixed marriages.
I have converted to Judaism under the auspices of the Reform or Liberal movement. Does the Masorti Bet Din Recognise my Conversion?
The European Masorti Bet Din does not automatically accept or reject any conversion that was performed under the auspices of another movement. We judge each case on its own merit, and our recognition depends on the circumstances of the conversion and the halachic process that took place. As a general rule we look at the content of the conversion rather than the auspices under which it took place. We accept conversions where there was a serious programme of tuition and the halachic requirements of conversion including circumcision (for men), immersion in a Mikvah and accepting the commandments were fulfilled.
We do not recognise conversions which did not include extensive active participation in a Jewish community.
We don’t challenge the Jewish status or make pronouncements about the Jewish status of anyone. Therefore we don’t rule on the validity of a conversion unless there is a practical reason that we need to do so – for instance it that person wished to join one of our synagogues or be married under our auspices.
I have converted to Judaism though an online conversion programme . Does the Masorti Bet Din Recognise my Conversion?
Active participation in the life of a Jewish community is an essential part of becoming a Jew. We believe that conversion is more than an intellectual activity and that one needs to experience Jewish life and ritual for them to become meaningful in their lives. Therefore, we do not accept conversions that take place over the internet. We do acknowledge that there is a place for some online tuition as part of a community based conversion programme.
I want to volunteer to help the Bet Din. Is there any way I can be of assistance.
The Bet Din relies on many volunteers to help support the people who use our services and to support our activities. For more details about how you can help CLICK HERE.
I am interesting in converting to Judaism and am 16 years old. Do you accept teenage candidates for conversion.
We are not in favour of conversions of people in their teens. This is a time of life that people are finding their identities, and we find that people may change their minds several times at this stage of their lives. This isn't the right time to make the lifelong commitment that conversion entails.
A teenager who is seriously interested in converting to Judaism should find a local Jewish community and start to attend and become involved in various religious, social and intellectual activities to get to know and experience Jewish life. This will help make a decision in the future, and would also contribute towards a conversion programme when it becomes possible.