Gerut (conversion) is a challenging and powerful process. While it requires strong dedication and soul-searching, the results are extraordinary. As Lydia Kukoff, herself a Jew-by-Choice, writes, “Those who choose Judaism are witnesses to the beauty and value of Jewish tradition.”
At Congregation Micah, gerut follows a period of preparation of about a year in length. During this period, the prospective Jew-by-Choice studies about Judaism, participates in the life of the synagogue and the Jewish community, and develops and deepens his or her personal commitment to and relationship with, God, Torah, and the Jewish people.
The journey of gerut at Congregation Micah includes the following steps:
Conversion Study Course - This course meets monthly beginning in the fall through the spring. Please see the Conversion Study Course syllabus for more information.
Jewish Living - The prospective Jew-by-Choice begins to “see the world through Jewish eyes” through the celebration of Shabbat and holidays, attendance at worship services and study opportunities, observance of mitzvoth, and participation in the Jewish community.
Tikkun Olam - Each prospective Jew-by-Choice will engage in ongoing acts of tikkun olam, helping to make the world a better place through donating their time in community service or social action projects.
Personal Reflection and Study - Individuals will complete a journal reflecting on their Jewish experiences throughout their journey of gerut.
Becoming a Member of Congregation Micah - Unless previous arrangements have been made with the rabbi, each candidate agrees to become part of the Congregation Micah community upon completion of gerut by joining the congregation as a member.
Membership at Congregation Micah - Part of becoming a member of the Jewish faith is binding oneself to the Jewish community. Your commitment to membership at Congregation Micah is part of your journey in Judaism, and we welcome you! A $500 non-refundable commitment at the beginning of your studies is required. Once you have completed the conversion process, you can apply for full membership in the congregation and the $500 initial payment will go towards your annual commitment at that time.
Volunteer hours - Being part of the Jewish community involves giving back. There is no greater way to bind oneself to the Jewish people than to actively serve the Jewish community. Through a minimum of 8 hours of volunteer service at Congregation Micah, you will begin to find the ways most interesting to you to be involved and give back. We look forward to discussing how you might get involved and fulfill these hours.
Gerut ceremony- As the candidate prepares for conversion, the rabbi and candidate will discuss the opportunities to participate in the traditional rituals of mikvah (ritual immersion),beit din (Jewish court), and, as appropriate, ritual circumcision or hatafat dam brit (ritual pricking). The candidate will complete his/her journey as we welcome them into our congregation as a Jew at one of our worship services.
We look forward to working with you as you explore Jewish life!
For more information regarding the Conversion process, please contact Rabbi Laurie Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org.