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There’s no one right way to convert to Judaism.

If you asked three Rabbis, you’d probably get five answers. That said, most agree the conversion process can be broken down into four phases.

1. Take a class

Start your journey by taking a class. (There’s a reason Jews are known as the people of the book.) While not the only option, The Miller Intro to Judaism Program is North America’s most popular class for a reason. Our curriculum and materials are a unique combination of thorough and accessible, and each interactive class is led by a knowledgeable Rabbi. The 18-week course can be taken from anywhere and fulfills the basic learning requirements for a non-orthodox conversion.

2. Find a rabbi

There are many ways to approach Judaism, and just as many rabbis. To convert, you’ll need to find a sponsoring rabbi–ideally, someone in your area who can be your mentor and guide throughout the process. We recommend finding one whose views match yours. Not sure where to start? Consider reaching out to one of our affiliate communities.

3. Join a community

Judaism is an experiential religion. Unless you try it on, you won‘t get it. During the conversion process, it’s essential to attend synagogue and see the holidays come to life. Your sponsoring rabbi may be part of one or could suggest a few in your area you might seek out. Pro tip: Many synagogues record or stream their services. Take advantage by previewing what these gatherings are like before attending one in person.

Our affiliate communities around the country are a great place to start.

4. Undergo your conversion ceremony

This is your big moment. But don’t worry, unlike a high school Biology final, there are no grades. The first part of the conversion ceremony is called a Beit Din, a panel of three rabbis. As a conversion candidate, you will be asked questions by the Beit Din like “Why did you choose to convert?” And, “If I came to your house, how would I know that you are Jewish?” Your sponsoring rabbi will decide with you when you are ready. 

The second part is immersion in the mikvah, and will typically occur directly after the Beit Din. A mikvah is a ritual pool used to mark life’s transitions, like marriage, childbirth, and, of course, conversion. There are rules to doing a proper immersion, but your sponsoring rabbi will make sure you are prepared well in advance. Additionally, if you choose to use The Community Mikvah operated by the Maas Center at American Jewish University, our Ritual Immersion and Mikvah Manager will be available to ensure you have a meaningful experience. 

The Community Mikvah is the only pluralistic mikvah in the Pacific Southwest. We proudly welcome visitors from around the globe for both halachic and non-traditional immersions.

Learn more about The Community Mikvah.

Rabbi Tarlan, Director of Maas Center and The Miller Program explains converting to Judaism.

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