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What is necessary in order to convert to Judaism?

What is necessary in order to convert to Judaism?
Answer By: 
Rabbi Alex Lilienthal
holding Star of David necklace

What is necessary to convert to Judaism may vary in detail from rabbi to rabbi, but a period of study is central to the conversion process. This study would not only familiarize the prospective convert with the basic beliefs and practices of Judaism, but it would also help the individual integrate into the actual community. I find it very important that the person do the studying (and the internal growing) while participating in the actual life of a Jewish community. This will allow many things to become second nature to the individual.

Once this slowly happens, it will be possible to assess how far the conversion has really gone. There is nothing miraculous here, simply an educational process that every rabbi needs to evaluate until his or her subjective criteria are met. Then there are of course ritual aspects to formalize matters which I would strongly encourage that they be done. In the Reform rabbinate, the requirement of ritual bath and circumcision will vary from rabbi to rabbi.

Learn more about conversion and read first-person perspectives on choosing Judaism.

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