Over 70 people joined Reform Judaism for a weekend aimed at those considering conversion to Judaism, those who have already started the conversion process or those who recently joined the Jewish faith under Reform auspices. At Reform Judaism we pride ourselves on creating a welcoming atmosphere for converts and were delighted to host so many potential new Jews at the weekend.
Participants praised the ‘wonderfully inclusive’ nature of the weekend, which took place from the 5th-7th of March. A huge variety of participants from across Britain came together to learn more about Judaism and the conversion process. This is the first time the event has been held online, yet proved so popular that a waiting list had to be established.
Many participants stated that the event had affirmed their decision to convert, or encouraged them to formally begin their journey by enrolling on a conversion course or contacting their local Rabbi. Reform Judaism requites that participants be enrolled in formal study for at least a year before coming to the Beit Din, although many conversion courses take longer.
The weekend included Shabbat services, information sessions from Rabbis, social events and opportunities for participants to meet each other. Rabbis from across the Reform Movement joined the event to educate participants and answer their questions.
Back in March 2020, the Reform Beit Din began holding virtual courts, welcoming new converts online for the first time in its history. Some converts have however had their formal entry into Judaism further delayed due to government restrictions on attending the mikveh and circumcision. An average of 100 potential converts come before the Reform Beit Din every year.
Rabbi Jackie Tabick, convenor of the Reform Beit Din since 2012, commented, “We were thrilled to welcome potential new Jews to our Beit Din Weekend. I am always humbled by the enthusiasm, commitment and fresh ideas that conversion candidates bring to our Jewish world and I am so honoured to be allowed to support them on their spiritual journey.”