The Downside of a Long Conversion Process

I've written a lot about the good sides of having a long Orthodox Jewish conversion process and I think there are some obvious downsides, but there is one downside that became readily apparent recently that I hadn't really stopped to think about and has come up for us. You can become TOO comfortable with being … Continue reading The Downside of a Long Conversion Process

Converts, BT’s…Heck Everyone – You Can’t Control What Others Will Think Of You

An interesting discussion wandered across my social media feed this week.  It began with a post suggesting "Comebacks For Converts," basically a list of ideas for dealing with nosey questions that converts often encounter.  The post itself is pretty good and has some good ideas.  The discussion that ensued, however, made me think for a … Continue reading Converts, BT’s…Heck Everyone – You Can’t Control What Others Will Think Of You

Becoming Whole…with a Chanukah Cactus

So much change is happening, that it's hard to keep you updated on it all.  We have an offer on our house and our flights to our new home.  We're selling furniture and packing boxes, making difficult choices on what to bring and what to leave.  Our conversion timeline may be  moving up as well.  … Continue reading Becoming Whole…with a Chanukah Cactus

Teachability, Conversion, and Life

I have a couple of really wise friends that I listen to and always learn something from our conversations.  Today, we were talking about the power of teachability and it seemed to fit exactly with a lot of what has been going on in my life recently as well as struggles I have seen around … Continue reading Teachability, Conversion, and Life

Conversion Advice – You’ve Gotta Love BOTH

I had one reader have a very negative reaction to a writing I did yesterday about the current state of conversion.  Basically, by writing about my experiences and some of the other issues I have known about, this person was discouraged from attempting an Orthodox Jewish conversion herself and her image of the Jewish people … Continue reading Conversion Advice – You’ve Gotta Love BOTH

Don’t Lose What Makes You, YOU! Advice for Orthodox Jewish Converts and Baleei Teshuva!

The times that I have fallen in love, I've had a tendency to lose myself in the man I've fallen in love with.  It's a pleasant kind of loss of identity and it happens slowly, subtly until I realize that I suddenly have new habits, preferences, and tastes.  Similarly, over the years, I have watched … Continue reading Don’t Lose What Makes You, YOU! Advice for Orthodox Jewish Converts and Baleei Teshuva!

Discouraging the Convert

My very good friend over at Jewish Thoughts wrote a great blog post today about Orthodox Jewish converts, questioning how the Orthodox community treats them.  After detailing some of the painful things that she has seen with the converts that she knows, she asks some very good questions. So what exactly should we do? I’m not … Continue reading Discouraging the Convert

Judaic Studies…in Alaska (or how to teach your children when you live very remote from Day Schools!)

Next year, Hashem willing, our children will be in Orthodox day schools.  This is a requirement for most converts because we may not be able to teach our children everything they need to know when it comes to Judaism.  Most day schools are simply private schools that follow a "dual curriculum."  Students spend roughly half … Continue reading Judaic Studies…in Alaska (or how to teach your children when you live very remote from Day Schools!)

What You Get With Waiting

We had a good meeting with our sponsoring Rabbi last night who reassured us that he still plans on us converting in April 2018.  He has plans and is confident that they will work out.  So, we have only to trust him and continue doing what we're doing. While this has all been playing out, … Continue reading What You Get With Waiting

Tools for Converts or BT’s – Bullet Journaling

If you're in the process of conversion or even if you're just looking to grow and add observance and study, there can be a lot to keep track of.  Classes, books to read, prayers to remember to say...it can be a lot. Over the years, I've tried several different systems to keep our family on … Continue reading Tools for Converts or BT’s – Bullet Journaling

And You Shall Teach Your Son (and Daughter)…For Converts and/or BT’s

One of the things I passionately love about Judaism is the focus it has on lifelong learning, the idea that even if you've read the weekly parsha every week for your whole life there is still some little bit of wisdom hidden there for you to dig into.  Or, the idea that there are so … Continue reading And You Shall Teach Your Son (and Daughter)…For Converts and/or BT’s

How to Avoid a Victim Mindset: A Brief Primer for Converts to Judaism

I stumbled across this article today written by another conversion blogger and I thought it was fantastic reading for anyone working on Orthodox Jewish Conversion, considering it, or even those who have already converted.

Johan René Schaper


By Johan (Yoel) Schaper

Being a convert to Judaism is not always easy. After having established that Judaism is the true religion and that you should join it, you suddenly realize that you are getting more than you bargained for. The religion comes together with an entire culture that you didn’t sign up for.

It is often this culture that creates trouble for the convert. Not all cultures are compatible; a convert’s upbringing can clash with the new Jewish one.

Take a Southern Baptist who grew up with the non-confrontational Southern culture. She rejects the New Testament, keeps the Old, and embraces Rabbinic Judaism. To convert, she moves up North to be in a larger Jewish community where she suddenly is thrown into this extremely forceful Jewish environment, filled with the usual teasing and in-your-face confrontational disagreements. All the poor gal did was change some core doctrines and add a…

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