conversion issues

Turning Aside: Signposts & Channelmarkers

In my first “Turning Aside” post, “The Burning Bush,” I mentioned the special obligation “that each of us has, as human beings and especially as Jews, to turn aside from all manner of popular cynicism, groupthink, and bad behavior, and to strive through our actions and our study to elevate – to ‘make holy’ – every day.” I take this responsibility seriously; I strive to be conscientious, kind, ethical, curious, and open-minded….and I’m forever falling well … [Read more…]

JBC News of Interest – 1/9/11

Several media outlets have reported that Rabbi Alysa Stanton, the first African-American female rabbi, has not had her contract renewed for her first pulpit at a Reform congregation in Greenville, North Carolina.  Rabbi Stanton made headlines when she was the first African-American woman ordained as a rabbi by the Hebrew Union College, and indeed, the first in America (the world?).  Haaretz reported on the story here, and Time magazine did a story on Rabbi Stanton shortly after her ordination … [Read more…]

Conversion Bill Update From the Masorti Movement – Its Good News!!!

Well this is good news! Maybe our emails did help! The Conversion Bill The Conversion Bill This is an update, and a thank you. As a result of the strong feelings expressed by so many, including many of you, the bill in the Knesset which would have affected conversion and the Law of Return has been sidetracked, at least for now. Our Masorti/Conservative community, along with our colleagues in the Reform movement, took the lead in identifying the problems, and then the Jewish Federations of … [Read more…]

Who Am I Now, Anyway? Conversion to Judaism and Developing a Jewish Identity

As anyone who has studied Judaism in any depth can attest, conversion to Judaism is more than just adopting the religion of the Jewish nation, it is also becoming part of the people Israel.  Yet the vast majority of conversations about why people convert or how they begin living a Jewish life seem to focus on religious matters.  I have often wondered why this is the case, as for me anyway the religious aspect was the easiest part.  A person either believes in a particular expression of … [Read more…]