a Jewish presence in the City of St. Louis

a place for everyone

Jews by Choice and Conversion

Jews by Choice, or individuals who have chosen to convert to Judaism (or who are considering converting to Judaism) are an integral part of the CRC community. Our congregation and our rabbis make no distinction between those who are "Jews by birth" and those who are "Jews by choice." In addition, individuals who have not converted to Judaism but who are interested in exploring or just experiencing Judaism are always welcome to join our community and our programs.

Becoming a Jew by Choice at CRC - The Process

Most people who are considering converting to Judaism have a lot of questions about the process. At CRC, as at most congregations in the Jewish community, conversion takes at least a year. This timeline is intended to give individuals an opportunity to experience all parts of the Jewish year, to learn about Judaism, and to carefully consider their decision.

If you are interested in converting to Judaism, we would be happy to meet with you, and we will be with you every step of the way. In addition, if you begin a conversion process and ultimately decide that converting to Judaism is not for you (for any reason), there is no pressure! We will be grateful for our relationship with you in whatever form that takes.

The following is a very brief summary of the steps we ask people to take before becoming a Jew by choice at CRC. Of course, we will give you more detail on all of these steps when we meet with you!

  1. Engage in at least one year of study and exploration—follow through the year of the holiday cycle, being conscious of and learning about each holiday on the Jewish calendar

  2. Take the Introduction to Judaism class – Tuesdays 7:00-9:00 pm for 16 weeks (classes usually begin twice a year, in August and January)

  3. Participate in the CRC community—become involved in the activities and classes of the congregation that are of interest to you

  4. Become familiar with Hebrew —learn the basics and the aleph/bet (Hebrew alphabet). Adult Hebrew classes are usually offered on Monday nights; additional class times are periodically scheduled throughout the year

  5. Meet regularly with one or all three of our rabbis

  6. Meet regularly with Rabbi Deana Sussman

  7. Attend Basic Judaism- the third Saturday of the month at 12:15

  8. Attend Torah Study (offered at 8:45 am on Saturdays and 2:00 pm on Fridays)

  9. Attend services regularly and learn prayers and music – held at 7:30 pm Friday & 10:00 am Saturday

  10. Become involved in a Social Justice activity

  11. Choose a Hebrew name

  12. Meet with the beit din and go to the Mikvah

  13. Congregational ceremony where you will receive the Torah, lead the congregation in the Sh'ma, and give a d’var Torah – a teaching on that week’s Torah portion (generally two pages, double-spaced – don’t worry, we’ll help if you need it!)

To schedule an initial meeting, please contact Jennifer Fishering, Director of Programming and Rabbinic Assistant at jen@centralreform.org or 314-361-1564 ext. 101.