We welcome the stranger with love
“More beloved by God than all the children of Israel
who stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai are those who choose Judaism,
who come to the Torah of their own accord.” — Midrash Tanchuma
Many individuals who seek a spiritual home find Judaism attractive. At Temple Beth-El, we welcome all seekers to explore what Judaism offers. We recognize that conversion to Judaism represents a challenging, powerful, and transformative undertaking. To make an informed decision about conversion to Judaism, an individual should thoroughly understand what it means to be Jewish.
Conversion represents a choice that must be made by an individual of his or her own free will. We emphasize that, following Jewish tradition, we never pressure prospective Jews-by-choice or seek them out from other religious institutions.
At Temple Beth-El, conversion (gerut) follows a period of preparation of at least 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.
Our conversion program culminates with an appearance before a beit din (religious court), facilitated by a Temple Beth-El rabbi, and a visit to the mikvah (ritual bath). Subsequently, the congregation publically welcomes the individual into the community. It is expected that individuals studying for conversion at Temple Beth-El, if they are not already members, will become members of the congregation.
Jews-by-Choice become full members of the Jewish people and the Temple Beth-El community.