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Becoming Jewish

It is wonderful that you are interested in exploring Judaism.  Anyone can become a Jew, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.  All it takes is an eagerness to join the Jewish people and a desire to take on the responsibilities of Jewish life.

Congregation Sinai is a wonderful, supportive community, whether you are curious about conversion or have already begun the process.  Many of our most active members and leaders are Jews-By-Choice.

The conversion process involves three main areas:

Learning – Prospective Jews-By-Choice enroll in the Silicon Valley Introduction to Judaism course.  This course is offered annually, beginning in the Fall after the High Holidays.  Rabbi Berkenwald, along with Rabbis from other local synagogues, teaches this weekly course that is designed to introduce students to Jewish history, practice, and belief.  Registration is handled by the Center for Jewish Life and Learning at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center.  Call 408-357-7411 or click here for more information.

Community – To become, Jewish, it is crucial to get involved in the community.  A great first step is to begin attending Shabbat services on Saturday mornings.  Make sure you stay for lunch afterwards, as this is a great time to get to know members of the community.

Practice – Judaism is lived on a daily basis.  It directs our lives from the moment we awake to when we lie down at night.  It governs our lives from the most mundane activities (what we eat, how we conduct ourselves in business, etc.) to the most sublime (prayer).  Embarking on a journey into Judaism will involve the gradual incorporation of Jewish practices into your daily life.

Most conversion journeys take at least a year, although every person’s path is unique.  A great first step is to contact Rabbi Berkenwald to set up a meeting.  Be sure to bring lots of questions.