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Mychal



Posts: 277
Join date: 2011-09-23
Location: Tennessee

PostSubject: Conversion Ceremony   Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:39 pm

I had my first conversion class Sunday. (It's supposed be an intro to Judaism, but, so far, everyone in the class has been living Jewishly for at least a year and has done a lot of study, so we're really past the intro stage and more into the intermediate stage.)

I was wondering how many people had some sort of public ceremony as part of their conversion? One girl I knew who converted did have a public ceremony on Friday evening at the Reform shul. But someone I know from my Conservative shul didn't have anything. (He did make aliyah his first Saturday, though.) I know some people do them in private just for friends and family.

I'm just curious as to what options are available. Not just public vs. private but what, exactly, the whole service entailed.
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Dena



Posts: 678
Join date: 2011-09-05
Age: 32

PostSubject: Re: Conversion Ceremony   Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:18 pm

Mine wasn't entirely public. I invited a few people who knew I was converting and were my friends, plus my husband and his parents. The service was very short. The Rabbi said a few things, I said a few things, then she asked me questions and I said "I will" (sorta really felt like I was marrying the Jewish people) and that's all I can remember. I was nervous.
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James



Posts: 101
Join date: 2011-09-06
Location: NC

PostSubject: Re: Conversion Ceremony   Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:24 pm

We had a ceremony as part of our Friday night service (we had the beit din and mikvah that morning). It came before the actual prayer service, if I recall correctly, but our usual Friday-night crowd was there.

It was pretty nice, There were three of us, and we took turns reading the conversion contract aloud, and we read our essays on why we were converting. The rabbi asked us why we chose our names, and the importance of it all to us.

The next morning was really good though. The other guys recited the prayer and blessing for putting on the tallit with me before service, and everyone there recited the blessing with me when I was called up for my aliyah. It wasn't anything formal or planned, just a spontaneous kind of thing that really made me feel welcomed and part of the tribe.

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maculated



Posts: 156
Join date: 2011-09-07
Age: 34
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

PostSubject: Re: Conversion Ceremony   Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:58 pm

Nothing public, but the converting rabbi had me up on stage at his congregation and blessed me, and I got a lot of "yasher koach" from people . . . but it was awkward for me because I didn't know them.

I liked it private. I sat in a park along the lake and contemplated what I did while hassids walked past with their babies.
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FaustianSlip



Posts: 30
Join date: 2011-09-19
Location: China

PostSubject: Re: Conversion Ceremony   Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:11 pm

I had my mikvah on a Wednesday or Thursday, so I just went to minyan that night as usual, but I told our chazzan, who had been asking occasionally whether or not they could count me, "Okay, so now you can count me in the minyan!"

A couple of weeks later I was given an aliyah, and my rabbi said a few words up on the bimah. Everyone was really happy and supportive, although a number of people said at the kiddush, "I had no idea you were a convert!" It was pretty funny, actually- I think of myself as being pretty open about the conversion thing, but I guess it just never really came up. I converted shortly before Pesach, so at a Seder at the house of some friends, I wound up doing the Four Questions, since I was "the youngest Jew at the table." Heh.
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