JewsByChoice.org Roundup – May 2011/Iyar 5771.

There are several interesting recent developments on the JBC.org site. Here are some highlights for May 2011/Iyar5771: Forum One conversation of special note is the “Why did you convert?” thread in the Conversion group. Several site regulars are or will be sharing the reasons they decided to become Jewish or to start the conversion process. Whether you are a Jew, are studying with a rabbi, or just interested in Judaism, you will find the various stories shared interesting. In the … [Read more…]

Turning Aside: Rambam’s Test

Is My Theology Truly Jewish (Or Jewish Enough)? Liberal Jewish denominations officially reject the Orthodox contention that, in order to be a good Jew, one must embrace a traditional cosmology and accept the whole of halacha.  Nevertheless, I think it incumbent upon liberal gerim to take both theology and halacha seriously; we should know what it is that we selectively accept or reject (and why).  In this “Turning Aside” post, I address my relationship to a traditional Jewish … [Read more…]


Conversion To Judaism  – v 1.1 Although JewsByChoice.Org is principally intended for individuals who have already converted to Judaism, we have put together this resource page in order to help non-Jews interested in Judaism and/or conversion. Please note that we the contributors to this site are neither clergy nor Jewish professionals. Therefore, the following information should be considered as peer advice and not professional opinion. If you are interested in Judaism and/or are … [Read more…]

On Sgulot

My local chat list here in Israel had the following message yesterday: “A special Yasher Koach [Well done!] to all the women who participated in baking challah for Nitzana Chaya bas Devora and David ben Freida.  They have b”H been blessed with a baby girl just 9½ months after the Shabbos that challah was baked for them.  Mi KeAmcha Yisroel!” While appeals for people (40 is the magic number) to bake challah with a blessing and say a special prayer for the sick and the infertile are fairly … [Read more…]

Israel-US conversion authority crisis resolved?

Last week, an article appeared in the Jerusalem Post (by Matthew Wagner) announcing that “the Chief Rabbinate has agreed to recognize conversions performed by the Rabbinic Council of America.”  This sounds like a momentous occasion, trumpeting greater recognition by the Israeli rabbinical establishment of Diaspora rabbis and conversions.  However, the reality is not quite as rosy. In point of fact, the Chief Rabbinate has agreed to recognize 15 Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) courts … [Read more…]