Congregation Shalom Rav welcomes inquiries from all those who are exploring Judaism or who have already decided to become Jewish
THE RABBIS OF THE MIDRASH (LEVITICUS RABBAH 1:2) EXPRESSED THEIR TOTAL FAITH IN THE QUALIFICATIONS AND AUTHENTICITY OF NEW JEWS, THUSLY:
- THEY ARE DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE HOLY ONE
- THEY ARE NOT GRAFTEES, BUT NEW ROOTS
- THEY ALSO CAME OUT OF EGYPT JUST LIKE THE ISRAELITES AND OVERCAME OBSTACLES AND BECAME NEW PLANTINGS
- THEY ARE STUDENTS OF THE TORAH AND THE MIDRASH
- WHEN OTHERS MENTION THEIR NAMES THAT IS EQUAL TO A LIBATION ON THE ALTAR TO YHWH
- THEY WERE ALL PRESENT AT MOUNT SINAI
- THEIR PAST SINS ARE FORGIVEN
- THEY BRING JOY ALL AROUND: UNIVERSALLY AND TO ZION
- YHWH APPROVES OF THEM UNCONDITIONALLY AND ETERNALLY
Students exploring Judaism and life with a Jewish community are an integral part of the congregation and they are instantly made to feel part of the congregation. New students in the conversion program are welcomed in a ceremony during our Shabbat services, and are asked to apply for membership in Shalom Rav which gives them most of the rights and responsibilities of membership.
We ask each student exploring Judaism to commit to a minimum two year membership in the congregation. Depending on one’s prior level of knowledge and involvement with Judaism, the Mikveh or immersion ceremony can take place one to two years after joining the congregation. Students coming in with advanced knowledge of Judaism are given special programs of study after consultation with the Rabbi.
Each conversion student is asked to:
- Study, either by attending one or more of the ongoing classes offered by Shalom Rav, or to replace or supplement that with their own private reading program
- Attend two or more of our monthly services, such as Friday Night Shabbat, Shabbat Morning Torah Service, Havdalah programs, and Holiday services
- Join at least one of our many committees or Hevra special interest groups to be an active part of our congregation
Conversion students can choose to have their Mikveh in one of the beautiful natural springs in our area. Our Beth Din Shalom is seen as an opportunity to hold a conversation about being Jewish with the Rabbi and two elders of the congregation.
Formal entry into Judaism via Congregation Shalom Rav happens at one of our major Shabbat services when the Mikveh Certificate, the Beth Din Shalom Certificate, and the Conversion Certificate are presented with members of the Congregation present as general witnesses. All conversions through Congregation Shalom Rav happen via the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
From the Shalom Rav Mikveh Certificate:
May the Jewish people ever act in accordance with the standards of the Torah and merit ____’s faith in our mission as a living people aligned with the values of moral, historical, and mystical consciousness together with proper stewardship of our planet and the honoring of all the peoples thereon as embodied in the Torah of HaShem.
May ____ find his/her spirit nourished, fulfilled, and challenged to deeper levels of growth through her affirmation of alignment with the lineage of Judaism.