Please take a moment to share your thoughts and let us know how we are doing! How has JewsByChoice.org been helpful to you on your Jewish journey? One of the things that makes all of the effort we put into this site worthwhile is hearing from our readers, so please don’t be shy!
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Examining & Embracing our Jewishness Together
Location:: United State
JewsByChoice.org is a fantastic intentional community of people examining and embracing their Jewishness. When I was going through my own conversion process, I found information, made connections and received support. On an continuing basis, I am fortunate to interact with JBCs along the entire continuum of religious practice as we explore issues of mutual interest and concern. JewsByChoice.org is an important part of my Jewish life and I’m grateful that it exists and thrives.
More than a “virtual” community
Location:: Skokie, IL (Chicago suburb)
It is clear from the amount that I have written on and for this website that it is important to me. I only wish that I had had such a resource 25 years ago when I was at a much earlier stage in my long Jewish journey. For more than two decades I felt very much alone in my hopes and doubts with respect to my own personal relationship with Judaism, despite having an understanding Jewish husband and a wonderful and welcoming Jewish community. My lay-led independent minyan accepted me warmly (at least socially, if not formally, although I didn’t find out that until years later) as one of only two non-Jewish spouses of members, and the only one who was really interested in being a participant in minyan activities. My husband and the Jewish educators, scholars, and rabbis of my minyan could answer any of my informational questions about any aspect of Judaism, but I didn’t feel that I could talk to them about my concerns as a potential convert, particularly when I did not feel ready to actively pursue conversion for various reasons. There were a few members who were converts, but they had converted in their late teens or early 20’s some 20-30+ years previously, and they were so well established in their Jewish identities that I their Jewish journeys seemed so different from mine.
I only discovered the JBC website shortly before I finally converted, at a time when many of the contradictions and ambiguities in my religious life were finally resolving. At first I wondered if I had found it too late because I didn’t really need it any more. But I found that I have continued to change in many ways even more after conversion than before. And I discovered that reading the questions and comments of other JBC and potential JBC helped me to better understand myself. I’ve found the JBC website a valuable outlet for expressing myself and a tool in figuring out who I am as a Jew and as a JBC. There were times, in fact, when I think in answering a question posed by another member, I was subconsciously writing back to an earlier version of myself. Sometimes I felt a strong resonance with the feelings or thoughts that other people expressed. Other times, I was glad that I didn’t have such difficulties or negative feelings. For example, I could feel “Wow, at least my parents didn’t react THAT badly to my conversion!”
This website has enabled me to connect with people in many different ways: through extended online discussions, through some off-line exchanges of a more personal nature, a few “snail mail” exchanges, connections that I initiated between a website member and my minyan friends in another state, and I was particularly excited to even directly meet in-person with an incredibly amazing member. So this “virtual community” has led to real connections too.
Thanks, Avi, for all the work you put in. And thank you to all the actively participating members. As to the “lurkers”, come join in and make the discussions more interesting and about what YOU want to talk about.
Wonderful and Important Work
Location:: Los Angele
I want to add to the chorus of those lauding the leaders behind this extraordinary website. As a congregational rabbi who has worked with many, many JBCs, I know from my students that the journey is both exciting and fraught with complications, and a sense of being overwhelmed. How do you join a faith, a community, a people, a nation while mastering a new alphabet, often new family relationships, and learning to navigate the structures of the modern Jewish community? What jewsbychoice.org is doing is extending a virtual hand to all those curious about choosing Judaism, and letting them know that they are not alone, their struggles and yearnings are shared, and that there are many, many people there ready to support and nourish them. I was delighted and honored to participate in a podcast, and I look forward to many more!
A must-read for JBCs and JBBs alike
Location:: LA, CA
JewsbyChoice.org is an amazing resource for the thinking-about-becoming JBC, the soon-to-be JBC, the recent JBC, the long-time JBC and even the JBB. The online community which has been built here provides not only information, but also support. No matter what your preferred flavor of Judaism is, there is something for you at JewsbyChoice.org. It is a user-friendly, well constructed online community that is way more than just a website.
A Safe Learning Space
Location:: St. Louis, Missouri
One of the best things JewsbyChoice.org does is provide a safe, welcoming space to learn about streams and movements of the Jewish world that are off my usual beaten path. For converts in the more liberal branches, the Conservative and Orthodox movements can seem a little foreboding at times, but here at JBC, I have so many warm and wonderful teachers. And I think this community (and its organizers) deserve high praise for keeping conversations respectful and supportive of diverse viewpoints. That is totally awesome when you get right down to it.
By, For, and About JBCs
Location:: New Yawk, NY
JewsByChoice.org is an incredible resource, created by dedicated volunteers who have somehow found the time to become THE voice of a growing and highly important cohort within the Jewish community. This site is the future of Judaism talking; it behooves the entire Jewish world to sit up and listen.
The best and only online center for JBC’s
Location:: Los Angeles, CA
One of the most common things I hear from my students who are choosing Judaism is that, once the conversion is finalized, it is difficult to find the right kind of support network – a community of people who are dealing with similar challenges, and who are eagerly looking for similar opportunities to expand their Jewish horizons. Thank God for JewsByChoice.org! With this wonderful site, choosing Judaism has become a little less lonely, a little less mysterious, and a lot more joyous and meaningful. Kol ha-kavod!
An Open Community
A very responsive, cohesive, and supportive organization. Whether you’re struggling with Jewish identity, mitzvot observance, or just need someone’s ear – this is a welcoming, engaging, and open minded group that understands the deepest meaning of the commandment to love the stranger.
A valuable resource and welcoming community
Early in my exploration of Judaism, I stumbled onto JBC.org several years ago. The site and community proved an invaluable resource and sounding board, helping me learn and progress on my Jewish journey.
A place of support
This website is a wonderful resource for Jews By Choice. It’s a place where you can ask any questions, and receive a variety of answers. It is a feeling of community for JBC’s which is hard to find. It’s a great way to network with fellow JBC’s, Jewish, or people interested in Judaism…I love this site!