Monday, January 19, 2009

Should You Convert?

Should you convert? I didn't.

When Fred and I married, neither he nor his parents put any pressure on me to convert. I'm sure it would have made them happy, but I didn't want to hurt my parents, who were devout Methodists. Besides, my personal history as a Methodist Youth camper, a choir singer, and an angel in the Christmas pageant (big step up from the chenille bathrobe clad shepherd of the first few years), was part of my identity, even though I had parted ways with religion and become an agnostic.

Now, years later, through osmosis, I feel very close to the Jewish people, Jewish culture, and Jewish causes. I realize that I was at fault for failing to contribute much to my boys' Jewish education. I couldn't, because I was ignorant. Well, I did put on a nice Passover seder and--like Caroline Kennedy--made good matzoh balls, but I didn't make enough of an effort to learn about Judaism. (Hence,!)

My friend Larry Epstein, a fine author of many books and articles, most of which are on Jewish subjects, referred me to material on conversion he has contributed which is available on Conversion to Judaism Home Page . Larry became interested in conversion when he heard that converts are sometimes viewed as second class citizens. This wonderful site has useful articles on the conversion process, how to tell people about your conversion, real stories on converts, and many other topics.

In future postings I am hoping to feature stories of women who have converted. Please leave a comment if you have an idea or a story to share. Thanks!

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