SHOULD I CONVERT TO
information is for those who are thinking about converting to Judaism.
Conversion to Judaism means accepting the Jewish faith and becoming part of the
Jewish people. The Karaite approach to Judaism requires both native born
Karaites and Converts to recite the Declaration of Faith that can be found in
the Karaite Siddur.
If you are considering becoming Jewish, we
would very much like you to consider the Karaite path to Judaism.
Judaism welcomes sincere converts. In fact, Abraham and Sarah, the founders of
the Jewish people were not born Jewish. The Biblical Book of Ruth is about a
non-Jewish woman who converted to Judaism. Throughout the ages, untold numbers
of individuals have converted to Judaism. People choose to become Jewish for
many different reasons. Some come to Judaism after a long spiritual search.
These Jews-by-choice see in Judaism sensible religious beliefs that add meaning
and beauty to their lives. They recognize that Judaism has brought wisdom and
blessings to the world. Among the core values they appreciate in Judaism are the
(1) Judaism introduced the world to the idea that God is one, not many. In
Judaism you pray directly to that God as an individual or as part of a Jewish
congregation. As a Jew you are part of a covenant, a partnership between God and
the Jewish people. (2) Judaism does not accept the idea that people are born
evil. Instead, people have free-will and the responsibility to choose right over
wrong. (3) Judaism encourages religious freedom of thought. It welcomes probing
spiritual questions. Judaism, has for 4000 years, emphasized a strong sense of
family and the value of a close community.
Some people who convert to Judaism have their interest sparked during a romantic
relationship with someone Jewish. In addition to the valuing the core beliefs
(listed above), these Jews-by-choice seek to share the faith of their partner,
to unite the family around one religious tradition and recognize the advantages
of raising children in one faith system.
The process of converting involves study and introspection. But more than
memorizing specific facts or accepting a set of beliefs is necessary. Judaism
must be an integral part of your daily life. Jewish values and beliefs are
exemplified through the performance of sacred deeds, or Mitzvot. The Karaite
assists with the formal process of converting to Judaism with
our Introduction to Judaism course. The program is given over the
internet. It is a 1.5 year course of study that introduces
participants to central Jewish beliefs, practices and texts as well as to the
history of the Jewish people.
Think about your own reasons. Remember conversion must be your own free
choice, not done because of pressure, but out of a genuine desire to embrace
Judaism. Learn as much as you can about Karaite Judaism. Remember that Judaism
has an important ethnic component. You are joining a people, not just a
religion. You will thus need to learn about different aspects of Jewish culture
and about Israel.
Talk about your thoughts and feelings with your partner, your friends, and your
family. It is important, for example, to discuss your feelings openly. It is
common to experience some moments of doubt or fear of the unknown. It is also
vital that you stay in touch with your birth family. Converting to Judaism does
not mean you are abandoning your family, your friends, or your fond memories of
past family life.
If Karaite Judaism's basic beliefs and practices make sense to you, we would be
pleased to have you join us. Remember, though, that Judaism is a faith of Torah, not forced creeds. It is difficult to provide a brief summary
of basic Judaism. The best way is to take our course. We will be happy to
answer any individual questions you have. Please contact our staff at: