Love and Religion

Interfaith Consultation for Jews and their Families

Guest Post: Lisette Partelow’s Jewish Journey

Mazel Tov to Lisette who has made the decision to become a Jew. Her conversion will take place at the Beit Din held at Adas Israel’s Mikveh. She studied at Temple Sinai with Rabbi Jessica (Oleon) Kirschner and Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein. Lisette has elegantly described the process in this beautiful essay she wrote. I hope you will take the time to read it. -Marion Usher “I was raised Catholic, but…” followed by a shrug to show my ambivalence. I suppose my Jewish journey started with that offhand remark, made in 2007 in the atrium of my graduate program’s building to a then acquaintance who also happened to be my future husband. He was inviting me to a Yom Kippur break fast and a friend’s birthday party later that evening, which I guess you could call a first date. Unbeknownst to me, I had given him the green light. Though I wasn’t Jewish, I was what he would later call “religiously ambivalent,” which was second best. And religiously ambivalent I was. Allow me to back up a little bit so you have some context. My mother is a religious Catholic and growing up we went to church every Sunday, church school, and CCD. […] Read More >
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Video: Interfaith At Adas Israel – Lisa Kleine’s Story

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Six Tips for Conversion

Are you seriously involved in an interfaith relationship? Are pondering the idea of becoming a Jew-by-choice? Here are six tips to guide you as you go on this wonderful and important journey. 1. This tip is for the Jewish partner in the relationship, the partner who is not converting. Now is the time to express your gratitude and appreciation to your partner who is considering this life altering decision. It is imperative that you demonstrate how thankful you are to be receiving this magnificent gift. 2. Sign up for an “Introduction to Judaism” class together. Not only will you learn, you will also meet other couples who are exploring their Jewish journey. 3. Everyone who wants to convert needs a sponsoring rabbi to help guide his or her process. Before you pick someone, I would recommend visiting several synagogues together. Research the synagogues online, and go to several services before you make an appointment with the rabbi. This will help you get a feel of the synagogue and congregation, and decide if you would feel welcomed there. 4.  Go with your gut. Once you attend a synagogue where you feel welcomed, and where members of the congregation have reached out […] Read More >
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The Doorbell Rang!

My husband was packing the car, and I was organizing what papers I wanted to take to the beach when the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find Gugu, my husband’s cousin through marriage. “Wish me mazel tov,” she exclaimed, “I became a Jew and an American this week.” My husband comes from a large family, and many of them are based in the Washington, D.C. area. We are very close to my husband’s extended family, and spend quite a bit of time with them, especially around the holidays. We were very excited when Gugu and her husband Josh moved to the D.C. area two years ago. We invited them to join us for holidays, and they have been coming ever since. With each Jewish holiday that we celebrated together, I noticed Gugu’s increased interest In Judaism.  She began to attend Shabbat services, and started taking classes with Rabbi Shira Stutman. At this year’s Seder I noticed how knowledgeable Gugu had become–she asked questions, shared her curiosity about aspects of the narrative being told, and was a full participant in the Seder.  In fact, she and Josh were the star performers at the table! Gugu completed her course of […] Read More >
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