Converting to Judaism

Converts to Judaism are welcome at Shir Hayim.  In accordance with the policies of the UK Reform rabbis, the normal procedure is as follows:

Come along (with your partner, if you have one) to services at Shir Hayim, and see if you like the Community and its rabbi.  Regular attendance is required at this preliminary stage, and throughout the process.  Jewish partners will be required to become members of Shir Hayim.

After several months, the candidate (and partner) should make an appointment to meet Rabbi Larry Tabick for a proper interview.  After which, both may be invited to join the Jewish Preparation Course.  This would last for a minimum of three terms or a year, and would cover Jewish history, life-cycle events, the festivals in turn, introductions to basic Jewish ideas and texts, and Hebrew reading.  During this period, candidates and their partners would be expected to attend Sabbath services regularly, plus services for all the fasts and festivals.  Male candidates who have not been circumcised will normally be expected to do so during this period.

After a final interview with our rabbi, the candidate may be referred to the Beit Din (rabbinical court) of the Movement for Reform Judaism, which will invite him/her to attend a sitting.  Candidates will be questioned about their personal journey to Judaism, and their knowledge and practice, as well as their reading of basic prayers in Hebrew.

If the candidate is successful, he/she will go to the mikveh (ritual bath) for immersion. From this point onwards, the candidate is considered Jewish in all respects.  Rabbi Larry Tabick will then arrange for the successful candidate to be called to the Torah on an appropriate occasion.

We regret that conversions granted by a Reform Beit Din may not be acceptable in Orthodox communities.

After candidates have successfully passed through our Beit Din, we will be very happy to arrange for a chuppah (Jewish wedding ceremony) for them and their Jewish partners.