Conversion and Jewish Status
Conversion and Jewish Status
Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue is part of the Movement for Reform Judaism. Jewish status decisions, governing who is a Jew entitled to all rights and responsibilities of Judaism, are made by the Reform Beit Din of the UK and are accepted throughout the world in Reform and Liberal Jewish communities.
Any questions or to get things rolling? Please contact any one of our Rabbis.
Conversion for Adults
Every year a number of people convert to Judaism through EHRS and we welcome them with delight. We run classes for conversion every term time week which we call Cornerstone, a name based on our street address and the notion in the Psalms that every building needs a cornerstone to be able to stand up, and you never know what source that stone may come from (Psalm 118). Our Cornerstone class is a thorough introduction to Judaism using a course created by our own Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers and EHRS member, Student Rabbi Eleanor Davis.
The people seeking to convert to Judaism through EHRS are a mix of people who are coming to Judaism as part of their personal spiritual search and people whose partner is Jewish and are seeking to become Jewish so that they will join their partner in the Jewish people. We welcome you whatever your situation. One of our Rabbis will be your ‘sponsor’ who will guide you through the conversion process and, at the end of the process, take you to the Reform Beit Din where three other Rabbis will speak with you about your journey into Judaism and welcome you to the Jewish people.
Conversion for Children
Our Synagogue welcomes couples to our community where one is Jewish and the other is not. We also welcome their children. In most Jewish communities Jewish status is automatically granted to children where the mother of a child is Jewish. In EHRS and in all other Reform Jewish communities the child of a Jewish father where the mother is not Jewish can be granted Jewish status in one of two ways. The child can convert to Judaism where both parents agree that the child will be raised as a Jew and make a written commitment to this intention. This can happen in infancy or later until the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah (13), where the child needs to make the decision themselves. We strongly recommend that the mother attends our Cornerstone class in order to be fully informed about Judaism. Our Rabbis will help the process to take place including accompanying the family to the Reform Beit Din for the granting of a conversion certificate and welcoming the child to the Jewish people.
(Photo: The EHRS congregation welcomes our new Sefer Torah written to remember Rabbi Neil Kraft z’’l who taught our EHRS conversion class for nearly two decades)
Inherited Jewish Status
EHRS is among the majority of UK Reform Synagogues which are delighted to help a child or adult with one Jewish parent to have their Jewish status recognised by the UK Reform Beit Din’s procedure of Inherited Status. This is not considered to be conversion as the child or adult was never part of a different faith. Our Rabbis will work with you to build a picture of your Jewish life since childhood and the intention of your parents so that we can make a recommendation to our Reform Beit Din that your Jewish status should be recognised. When Jewish status is recognised and certified this means that you have access to all rights and responsibilities of a Reform or Liberal Synagogue, including Bar or Bat Mitzvah and Jewish marriage.