Conversion to Judaism/Conversion
I previously sent you a different question but I just wanted to let you know I entered the wrong email. The correct one is email@example.com not .com. So please send your response to the right one.
ANSWER: Questioner sent question with wrong email address: (15 y/o Catholic girl wants to convert to Judaism);
Thank you for your kind question. First let me say that we do not have access to your email address as experts so, had you not sent me the second "question" you would not have gotten a response directly but it still would have shown up on the site (since I changed it to public as there is no private information in your question).
The obvious first question is what draws you to Judaism? The are a number of similarities between Judaism and Catholicism; we are both liturgical, both a bit. "High church" and you would recognize some of the sybolism (ie Blessing of wine and bread ) although with different meanings. Any rabbi you approach for conversion will ask you this question so now you have some lead time before having to answer .
If one is underage, parental permission is of course required. You will need much support from your family as you will have to live as a Jew for upwards of a year before being permitted to convert. That means Saturdays in synagogue, kosher food, keeping the Sabbath, modesty in dress, etc . It is not easy to be a Jew by yourself. It would be up to the rabbi whether he or she thought you were ready for the journey toward conversion.
I'm sure moving to an exotic country seems fascinating to you, however, one can visit Israel without becoming a Jew. Once you take the step to convert it is forever, a marriage between heaven and you. It is also not easy on friendships or dating.
To be a Jew, to me, is to embrace my faith regardless of my location. As such, I feel as though you should plan to remain in the USA after your conversion. Living in NYC or Israel, I think , decreases the sanctity of the faith some what in that it is much easier to live a Jew when there's little else around you (much like it is much easier to learn a language when you live in a country where you must speak the new language and immerse yourself in the culture. Take a trip fir sure but don't move right away.
Finally please know that only Orhodox conversions (and not all of them) qualify the convert for the right to return (move) to Israel; another good reason why Aliyah should not be your primary goal.
All the best in your search! Shalom
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QUESTION: Hello again,
Thank you for your kind answer. So with all this new information I was just curious. What are some of the main differences between reform and Orthodox Judaism? How long does it take to convert to orthodox then?
Thank you again,
I'm glad you found the information useful. The conversion process is a little shorter in the more liberal branches of Judaism but in general you can expect to spend at least a year of intensive study and living as a Jew regardless if which fits you best. Here's a link on orthodoxy, scroll to the bottom and you can read about the other movements in Judaism as well:
All the best, shalom!