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Converting to Judaism
I recently met a man who I like who is an orthodox Jew. He is fairly strict and was raised Orthodox. He is much older than me, but I feel a strong connnection and we have a lot in common. The issue is that he wants to marry someone who converts and will become orthodox and raise the children that way. I was raised Christian though I have never felt an affinity. I meditate and enjoy learning about Buddhism. I wanted to hear from others in a similar situation. Anonymous
If you DO feel called to Judaism, the first thing to do is to find a synagogue where you feel comfortable and start going to services. Speak with the rabbi and find out if there are ''Intro to Judaism'' classes. Rabbis can help you find the information you need and get you started with a Jewish education (which is required prior to conversion). If you are interested in an Orthodox conversion (which are the only conversions the Orthodox acknowledge) check out Beth Jacob in Oakland or Beth Israel in Berkeley. If you and your partner feel more comfortable in a traditional but somewhat more progressive and egalitarian congregation, I would recommend a Conservative synagogue such as Netivot Shalom in Berkeley or Beth Abraham (?) in Oakland. The Conservative conversion process is a little less restrictive but may not be acknowledged by your husband's family or rabbi if they are Orthodox.
There is a forum for people who are converting here: http://jbcs.livejournal.com
Also, there are many books available on what Judaism is all about that can help you figure out if it's for you Jew by Birth, Observant by Choice
I hope that you are able to begin practicing Judaism with your partner and learning more. As you start to live a Jewish life, then it's worth exploring whether or not you believe you are/want to be a Jew, and then finding a rabbi who will help you through the process. Good luck with your journey
For many people, their spirituality guides their decision-making and raising kids together requires a huuuge amount of decision making! :D My husband and I share the same faith and even we butt heads on things that I think should be 'no brainers' given our spritual similarity. But no. Enjoy your quest!
In addition, although Judaism welcomes converts, I think those who are not born into Judaism often feel separate from the community. My mother converted to Reform Judaism largely because my father wanted her to, and it was never a good fit. (She and I both became Unitarian Universalists as adults). There is a large ethnic/cultural component to Jewish identity; even though I am a UU and an atheist, I still consider myself Jewish, in that that is part of my family history and the culture in which I was raised.
It may be that there is more to your relationship with this man or with Judaism than was expressed in your posting, but my thought is that it should take much, much more than "liking" an Orthodox Jew to consider conversion. I think Orthodox rabbis would agree, as well A Convert's. Daughter
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