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James

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Join date : 2011-09-06
Location : NC

PostSubject: Getting there......   Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:54 pm

Well, my rabbi has finally set a date for my beit din. It's still a ways off (the middle of May), but we're getting there!

Add in my graduation Saturday (earned a BS in Political Science at the ripe old age thirty-something), and it was a great weekend.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:14 pm

That's great, James! Congratulations on finishing school!

Will the younger two also complete their conversion on the same day or at a different time?
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Dena wrote:
That's great, James! Congratulations on finishing school!

Will the younger two also complete their conversion on the same day or at a different time?

It's going to have to be at a different time. The rabbi, who at first was refusing to allow me to convert because the kids were not going to, is now refusing to allow the younger two to convert.

But he is retiring shortly after my conversion. I'll have to talk to the new rabbi about it. The good thing is that they are looking forward to converting; they voluntary go to Shabbat services with me, and are begging to go to Sunday school.

And thanks!
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:51 am

James wrote:

It's going to have to be at a different time. The rabbi, who at first was refusing to allow me to convert because the kids were not going to, is now refusing to allow the younger two to convert.

Okay...is this because their mother is not converting also?


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James

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:51 am

He said it's because they're not old enough to understand the decision.

I really don't know what's up with him; from what the members have told me, he's never shied away from converting children under 13 before. Maybe he's just ready to let the new rabbi deal with it.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:57 pm

How old are your younger two children, James? And how do they feel about conversion?

For very young children, of course they can't understand. But the reason for "child conversion" is that they need to be brought up as Jewish in order to learn to be and feel Jewish. And unlike adult conversions, the child does get the one-time right to renounce it all when s/he reaches the age of bar/bat mitzvah.

Now for say adopted children of two Jewish parents, it is routine to convert them as infants. For Orthodox conversion, the rabbis may need assurances that the child will be brought up in a fully observant home.

For children of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, the consent of the mother will be required, and the rabbis will want to make sure the parents are both committed to bringing up the children as Jewish. We did "child conversions" for my children before the same Beit Din when they were ages 2 and 5. However, they had been brought up in a home that had always only observed Judaism despite the fact that I had not yet converted. And of course, they were "patrilineal Jews" so there was strong desire on the part of the rabbis to convert them to help ensure that they would be raised as Jews.

If the Jewish parent is a recent convert, there may be concerns that this will be difficult to do. Often though, when a parent converts their minor children are converted with them.

If the children are old enough to voice their own opinions (age 3 - 12), they must want to convert. If they do not want to convert, they cannot be converted without their consent regardless of the wishes of a parent. From age 13 and up, it is the same as an adult conversion with all the study, etc. And having a parent who is Jewish is the only way that many rabbis will even convert teenagers. For teens with non-Jewish parents, most rabbis will not do the conversion until the person is at least 18.

There is kind of a grey area around ages 10-12 because there almost isn't enough time for them to learn enough before the age of bnei mitzvah to be able to knowingly make the fateful decision to remain Jewish or renounce it. So I could understand a hesitancy in converting an older child.

I wonder if the fact that there will be older children in your home who are not going to convert was another factor your rabbi may be considering. He may feel that it will be very difficult for younger children if not only their mother, but also older siblings are not Jewish, and the one Jewish parent is newly Jewish.

Have you asked about whether your children might still be able to attend Sunday school even if they are not Jewish (yet)? If it is a Reform synagogue, it might be permissible, and there may be other "patrilineal" kids in the Sunday school.


Last edited by Debbie B. on Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BRNechama

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:28 pm

Congratulations James...on everything! Very Happy
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:22 am

Debbie- They're 8 and 9, and both want to convert.

The rabbi's refusal is new; 3 months ago he was all for it.


BRNechama- Thanks!
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon May 14, 2012 9:20 pm

Well, just to update this thread-

I went to the beit din this morning, and everything went well. We talked about why I wanted to convert, the path that led me here, and the books and lessons I felt were helpful.

And then we drove to Raleigh (about 80 miles one way) for the mikvah at the conservative synagogue. It was a beautiful place and a great end to the process.
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BRNechama

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon May 14, 2012 9:29 pm

Mazel tov & welcome to the tribe!
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon May 14, 2012 9:46 pm

Wave Congrats!!! Wave
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon May 14, 2012 9:55 pm

Mazel tov, James!!!! I am so happy for you. Very Happy
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usuario



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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon May 14, 2012 10:04 pm

מזל טוב! Congrats!
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Mon May 14, 2012 11:01 pm

Mazel tov!
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue May 15, 2012 6:05 am

Thanks guys!
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SaraK

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue May 15, 2012 6:42 am

Congratulations!
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue May 15, 2012 9:24 am

Wonderful!! Enjoy every moment! Congratulations!
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Getting there......   Tue May 15, 2012 3:28 pm

Mazel Tov James!

Welcome home.
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