Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · rabbi

Conversion Ettiquette

Question: I am at the beginning of the conversion process in the Conservative branch of Judaism. After I convert, I know I won’t be recognized as a Jew by some Orthodox Jews. So how should I behave if I visit an Orthodox synagogue? As a Jew? As a non-Orthodox Jew? As a gentile?

Response from (and I get a notable mention!)

I know a lot of converts wonder about this, Daniel, but don’t worry so much about “acting like” a Jew or a gentile. Be yourself! It is a good idea to be prepared for some of the circumstances you might be presented with in an Orthodox synagogue, so here’s some information to help guide you.

I consulted with Rabbi Marc Angel, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York, and author of Choosing to Be Jewish: The Orthodox Road to Conversion. He said that a person with a non-Orthodox conversion who visits an Orthodox synagogue, “does not need to say anything to anybody unless asked.”

Read more here.

5 thoughts on “Conversion Ettiquette

  1. All good responses. I'd guess from the fact that he actually took the trouble to ask, that Daniel respects the views of the Orthodox in this matter (even if he doesn't agree with them) and doesn't want to offend them. Wouldn't it be nice if that respect went both ways?


  2. I have been wondering about this as well. I wouldn't want to offend anyone OR look like I was trying to be dishonest. Thanks for answer Daniel's question.


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