Path to Conversion

Path to Conversion

Step One: Choosing a Hebrew Name

After you decide to convert, your first step on the path to conversion is to choose a Hebrew name. When Abram and Sarai were reborn in a new relationship with God, their names changed and they became Abraham and Sarah. Similarly, your choice of a Hebrew name signifies a new life and identity. The name can be from the Bible or Jewish history, or from a person you admire or identify with. Rabbi Cukierkorn can help you find a name particularly meaningful to you.

Undergoing Milah (for men)

Before your conversion ceremony, if you are a man, you may choose to perform atafat dam brit.

Appearing Before the Beit Din

Your conversion process culminates in a conversion ceremony. In Kansas City, this ceremony takes place at the Kansas City Community Mikvah, located at Kehilath Israel Synagogue.

At the beginning of the ceremony, you will appear before a Beit Din, a tribunal, usually composed of three rabbis. You will likely be asked about your journey to Judaism and general questions about learning, worship, observance, and issues to do with family and practice of Judaism at home. While it may be daunting to be examined by the group of rabbis, remember that the Rabbi recommended you for conversion. You would not appear before the Beit Din if he were not confident of your approval.

Experiencing the Ritual Immersion

Following the Beit Din, you will experience the ritual immersion at the mikveh (ritual bath). You will be supervised by someone of the same sex, to insure full immersion. While the mikveh is optional in your conversion, going to the mikveh is a transformative, inspiring experience, as any Jew who has visited the ritual bath will tell you.

The Ceremony

The last step in your ceremony takes place in the synagogue sanctuary in front of the open ark, with witnesses. Either privately with a few witnesses or in front of the entire synagogue congregation, you will pledge that:

– you make this decision of your own free will
– you embrace Judaism to the exclusion of other religions
– you are loyal to the Jewish people
– you will participate in Jewish life, inside and outside the synagogue
– you will have a Jewish home, including raising your children as Jews

At the end of the ceremony, you will receive a conversion certificate from the Reform Movement. Two copies will be made. One will remain in our congregation files and the other will be filed at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Read more about How Temple Israel Can Help in Your Conversion. > >

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