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Reform Giyur
converting without lying

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Giyur Activities & Services

The Beit Din for Conversion of the Israel Movement for Reform Judaism

MARAM - the Israeli Council of Reform Rabbis has a permanent Beit Din for conversion and personal status issues. For further information, please contact one of the Movements many local congregational rabbis or the director of the Beit Din, Rabbi Gregory Kotler: 054-7791100. For clarification on the legal status of our conversions, please contact the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC): 03-6958218.

Conversion in the Spirit of Progressive Judaism

Candidates for conversion are interviewed by one of the rabbis of the Israeli Council of Progressive Rabbis. If the rabbi is convinced that the candidate’s intention to convert is genuine, the rabbi recommends the start of the candidate's conversion process to the Beit Din for Conversion. The Beit Din for Conversion, consisting of three rabbis, will then interview the candidate. Upon verifying the candidate's serious intention, they will then refer him/her to a teacher or Movement rabbi for the purpose of guiding him/her in study.

Conversion, according to the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, entails extended study including familiarity with the varied Jewish sources, Jewish law, tradition, and the commandments. The regular period of study is one year, largely depending on the amount of time the candidate can dedicate to his/her studies and the candidate's previous knowledge (e.g. One's residence in Israel for an extended period of time may indicate a more extensive knowledge of Jewish belief and culture). The studies, as much as possible, take place in the language most comfortable for the candidate.

This year of study is intended to grant the candidate the full experience of the Jewish yearly cycle, allowing him/her to regularly participate in the prayer services of the synagogue and the rituals done at home. During this period, different topics are studied, including (but not limited to): the Jewish yearly cycle, the Jewish life cycle, prayer and customs of the synagogue, Jewish history, the world of Jewish thought, and the difference between Judaism and other faiths.

After completing his/her studies, the candidate must again meet with the Beit Din for a test. Upon passing the test, the formal processes of conversion are carried out.

Conversion Ceremony

The ceremony includes circumcision, ritual immersion, and receiving the commandments according to the Progressive Jewish way of life. A convert’s decision to receive and take upon the obligation to fulfill the commandments is a personal choice and rests on the following:

  1. His/her understanding of the intention of the commandments and their development in Jewish tradition throughout history

  2. His/her ability to perform the commandments

  3. His/her responsibility towards the Jewish people

  4. The absence of contradiction between the commandment and his/her conscience

Conversion Certificate

Upon completion of the conversion process, the Beit Din grants the candidate a conversion certificate signed by the three members of the Beit Din. This certificate is recognized by all congregations and rabbis of the Israel Movement for Reform Judaism and the Reform movement throughout the world, and also by the Israeli Interior Ministry.

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Giyur Instructions

Guidance for the Candidate for Conversion
 

Who may be accepted to the conversion process?

  1. Citizens of the State of Israel who hold a Teudat Zehut (Identity Card)

  2. Holders of a Teudat Zehut (Identity Card) who are currently undergoing the process to receive citizenship (5A)

  3. Non-citizens without legal visas will not be accepted

What are the different steps of the conversion process?

  1. Contacting the local rabbi for a preliminary interview

  2. Beginning participation in congregational activities and learning groups

  3. First interview with the Beit Din

  4. Continuation of learning and congregational activities until the completion of the Jewish yearly cycle

  5. Brit Milah (circumcision) for men

  6. Final interview (test) with the Beit Din and the Tevilah (ritual immersion) afterwards

  7. Ceremony for receiving and welcoming the convert to the community

What is the process for children of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother?

  • In the case that the individual has lived his/her life as a Jew and is familiar with Jewish practice and learning, there may be an option to shorten the process.

  • Shortening the length of the process will be determined only by the Beit Din. We do not make any promises to any conversion candidate

  • before he/she appears before the Beit Din.

What are the legal steps of the Reform conversion?

  1. Reform conversion is recognized for the purposes of registering with the Population Registry (Ministry of Interior).

  2. Since 2021 our conversions also can grant oleh (immigrant) status under the Law of Return.

  3. Our conversions are not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate.

  4. Changing one's record at the Population Registry requires legal action and a fee (1500 NIS). In special cases, one may be exempt from paying this fee.

The conversion process entails financial expenses. For further information, please contact Rabbi Gregory Kotler by telephone 054-7791100 or by email at gregory@reform.org.il