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Dena

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PostSubject: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:44 pm

I think this is a nice, short to the point video for people interested in conversion. Chaviva was a member of the old JBC forum I believe? Not sure, anyway, here is the video. She also has a website which can be found here - kvetchingeditor

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Eliana



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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:41 pm

I agree about what to say. It is best to not talk about the conversion, especially with people who are not Jewish. I have had some very rude reactions. One person even got up and walked away refusing to talk with me further when she found out. Usually if someone asks how I grew up, I simply say with not much religion at all, which is true. Today, however, someone asked who in my family is Jewish so I said nobody. I explained that I don't normally give that information away as people usually respond better if they think I was born Jewish, but I won't lie outright about it. I converted in a reform synagogue, but we had a Beit Din, prayers at the Bimah, I held the Torah, and went into a mikveh. From my understanding, that is unusual for a reform conversion and is more in line with a conservative conversion.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:44 am

Eliana, I think it's perfectly normal. Perhaps in years past Reform converts did not do those things but now it seems they do. I don't have much opportunity to tell people I am Jewish. Most of the people I deal with are family and friends and they already know. I don't interact with many strangers. I can't imagine someone just walking away from me. That would be so strange. But, I've heard some odd stories.
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Eliana



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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:58 am

I have people ask why I would convert at a Reform synagogue. They say the reason why they ask is that reform synagogues don't have a Beit Din or mikveh ceremony. When I have explained that my conversion included those elements, they are surprised and say something along the lines of "well, that's different!".
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:10 am

The Reform movement as a whole has gone through it's own transformation. It's come a long way from where it was when it started. I'm sure there are people converting through the Reform movement now who don't do the mikveh, beit din ( and circumcision for the guys) but I haven't actually met any yet. Have you?
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:11 am

Wait..okay, I've met one. But that's it...I think. Razz
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FaustianSlip

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:30 am

I like Chavi's video, and I generally agree with what she says, though I'm pretty out and open about my status. Most (all?) of my friends at work are aware that I converted, and you better believe I updated my Facebook status after my Beit Din. It's interesting; I work with a number of Mormons, and they've been very curious about why I chose to convert, what brought me to Judaism, et cetera. We've had some great conversations about it, and I've never had anyone, in that context, at least, question my Jewishness. My immediate supervisor is actually a (very secular) Jew, and he was fascinated when I mentioned I was a convert.

That said, I'm part of an extremely small Jewish community, and I would not broadcast to totally random people that I converted, because the only game in town is Chabad, and I don't feel like dealing with the potential issues that raises when I have another year and a half of living where I am (I had a Conservative conversion, for the record). Being female, they're not going to count me in a minyan, synagogue honors are a non-issue, and I'm not likely to marry some frum guy I meet at Chabad China. So really, it's no one's business unless I choose to share it. By contrast, at a liberal synagogue I attend a couple of hours away, I'm totally "out" (and actually met a couple of guys who attended the same synagogue I did back in the States). It really depends on the context for me.

I don't think I've ever had a non-Jew try and tell me that I'm not "really" Jewish or something like that, but I can't envision many scenarios in which I would be sharing my conversion status with some random, non-Jewish person in the first place. Most of the Jewish people I've met are really encouraging and positive about it if/when it comes up.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:43 pm

Eliana wrote:
I agree about what to say. It is best to not talk about the conversion, especially with people who are not Jewish. I have had some very rude reactions. One person even got up and walked away refusing to talk with me further when she found out. Usually if someone asks how I grew up, I simply say with not much religion at all, which is true. Today, however, someone asked who in my family is Jewish so I said nobody. I explained that I don't normally give that information away as people usually respond better if they think I was born Jewish, but I won't lie outright about it. I converted in a reform synagogue, but we had a Beit Din, prayers at the Bimah, I held the Torah, and went into a mikveh. From my understanding, that is unusual for a reform conversion and is more in line with a conservative conversion.


All the folks I know who converted through Reform went before a Beit Din, into the Mikveh and held the Torah, there were prayers at the Bimah and promises made and a certificate signed by all 3 Rabbis.

Reform is moving towards the traditional.

The expectations of local Reform Rabbis here are

1. Beit Din
2. Mikveh
3. Circumcision and hatafat dam brit


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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:16 pm

At the Reform shul where I used to go, they had a beit din and the convert went to the Conservative shul to get in the mikvah.

LOL at the question "Are your parents religious?"

My answer: "Why yes, yes they are."

And they ARE. Just probably not in the religion the questioner expects.

I pretty much live like Chai says. I don't ever feel the need to announce my conversion (and I don't feel the need to announce my Jewishness when I'm among Gentiles), but neither do I avoid it or lie if it comes up in a conversation.

Case in point: when I went to a Conservative shul the first time, I was invited for an honor. I was agreeing to take it when I thought to ask, "Does it matter that I'm not converted yet?" Well, yes, it did matter there (didn't at the Reform synagogue where I used to go). But I'm already in the mindset that I'm a Jew, and I'm just waiting to make it legal, and I actually have to remind myself--in cases like that--that I'm not legally a Jew yet.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:59 pm

Mychal wrote:
At the Reform shul where I used to go, they had a beit din and the convert went to the Conservative shul to get in the mikvah.

Does the shul you attend now have the mikveh? Here we share (Orthodox, Reform, Conservative) unless you can go to Chabad's mikveh.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:02 pm

Yeah, I'm at the Conservative shul now. Haven't seen the mikveh yet, so I don't know what it looks like. I assume that the Orthodox shul has their own. Reform converts, as I understand it, come to our synagogue for the mikveh. My Reform shul definitely did bet din and mikveh, and I believe that the other Reform shul does that as well.
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ilovetchotchkes

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Mon May 28, 2012 12:26 pm

What's hilarious is EVERYONE assumes I converted "for my husband".... Who was raised Lutheran and converted a year before me.

Its our last name. Its a very common Jewish last name. But its also a very common German last name.

He prefers NOT to say anything unless directly asked. I am pretty open about it. Because I'm proud of it. Crazy? yeah, probably. :)

I can attest that there was indeed a mikveh dunk with both me and my husband- we're reform. :) (in fact in this 90 degree heat at 30 weeks pregnant, I find myself fantasizing about immersing right now....) And he had the brit haf dam (cant' spell today, sooooo hot).



Last edited by ilovetchotchkes on Mon May 28, 2012 12:29 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Its hot and I forgot stuff....)
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Tue May 29, 2012 12:04 am

When people know I am a convert they will ask if my husband is Jewish. He isn't. He is an atheist who had no intention of converting. Then some look at me like I'm nuts because they have no idea why a woman would convert if she didn't need to do so for her spouse. But generally people figure it's because being a Jew is awesome. Very Happy
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Tue May 29, 2012 6:09 am

Dena wrote:
When people know I am a convert they will ask if my husband is Jewish. He isn't. He is an atheist who had no intention of converting. Then some look at me like I'm nuts because they have no idea why a woman would convert if she didn't need to do so for her spouse. But generally people figure it's because being a Jew is awesome. Very Happy

I get the same reaction.

My wife and I went to an interfaith class not too long ago, and the Presbyterian minister assumed I converted for my wife. The look on his face was priceless when he learned she was a Methodist. affraid
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Chavi's Topics on Conversion   Tue May 29, 2012 12:09 pm

My husband is not Jewish and isn't converting with me. I'll flat out tell people who ask that God called me to be a Jew. I mean, you can't argue with that (I certainly wasn't able to!).
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