Becoming Jewish

Joining The Jewish People

North Manchester Reform Synagogue welcomes anyone wanting to know more about becoming Jewish.

In common with the other Reform Synagogues in the UK, the process of becoming Jewish is laid down by the Beit Din (Rabbinic Court) for the Movement for Reform Judaism.

The journey involves developing your basic knowledge of many aspects of Jewish culture, experiencing Jewish life and showing commitment to the Jewish community.

The process differs for each candidate: some know a great deal and have experienced Jewish life, e.g. by having lived in Israel, others know relatively little before they begin. On average the journey from initial contact to completion takes approximately 18-24 months.

If you are the non-Jewish person in a couple intending to marry, you should not plan a Jewish wedding with the expectation that the process will be completed by a certain date. If you are planning to be married, discuss all these issues with the Rabbi at the earliest opportunity – before setting a date.

The Beit Din requires candidates to experience an entire year’s cycle of Jewish festivals before they will consider acceptance. Attendance at the weekly lessons is required. Each candidate is assigned a sponsoring Rabbi who is responsible for supporting candidates on their Jewish journey and, when a person is ready, the Rabbi will recommend an interview with the Beit Din.

Preparation involves regular attendance at synagogue services, participating in a year-long Jewish preparation course (including studying Jewish knowledge and Hebrew), meeting regularly with the Rabbi before going to the Beit Din and Mikveh (immersion in ritual bath) which leads to Jewish status. Men are also asked to provide written proof that they have undergone circumcision.

Jewish status obtained through the Movement for Reform Judaism is accepted by non-orthodox communities around the world and by the State of Israel.

If you are interested in the possibility of becoming Jewish, please speak in the first instance to the Synagogue office staff.