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Jewish Teens/How am I supposed to convert to Judaism if I am 13?



I'm a 13 year old girl who was born and raised Greek Orthodox, since the family is Greek, but my Dad's side of the family is Jewish, because my uncle married and converted. Recently, I've been feeling that I really wasn't meant to be Christian, so I thought about converting to something else.

I did some research on Judaism, and I know I want to convert. I just don't know how I would because I'm far away from any synagogue or anything else that might help me. Do I have to wait till I'm 18? What am I supposed to do?

Hi Sydney

Conversion is a very big step to take and you really need to think it through very carefully. It is also difficult to go through a conversion without having your own home (because you need to eat kosher) and because it is far from a Jewish community and synagogue.

For now, you should read and learn as much as you can (use sites like and, so that when the time is right, you can make the move.

Also, please remember that Judaism doesn't encourage conversion. We believe that is a very big undertaking and a complete life-change, that you need to be 100% sure you are ready to undertake. From a Jewish perspective, every person has the opportunity to create a meaningful spiritual connection with G-d, without being Jewish. The main spiritual approach without being Jewish is called the Noahide approach, you should look into that too.


Rabbi Shishler

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Rabbi Ari Shishler


As a campus rabbi, who teaches both religious and non-religious Jewish teens every day, I'm ready and waiting for your questions.


I spent six years as the head of the Chabad House Young Adults' Division in Johannesburg, South Africa, before moving to learning director. I am the campus rabbi at the Witwatersrand University and University of Johannesburg and was the campus rabbi at Boston City Campus in Johannesburg for six years. I have worked closely with the South African Union of Jewish students since 1997. For the past eight years, I have been a guest lecturer at the Johannesburg "Encounter" program for King David High Schools. I have also spent two years as guest rabbi at the "Encounter" program in Cape Town. King David High Schools, Yeshivah College and Crawford High Schools invite me regularly to speak to various classes. Since 1996, I have been teaching Talmud at a local religious high school.

Chabad-Lubavitch South African Rabbinical Association

Monthly column in Jewish Life magazine, South Africa. Jewish Tradition, South Africa. Jewish Report, South Africa South African Union of Jewish Students annual Holiday guide. Jewish Observer, South Africa. Nshei Chabad Newsletter, NY. Online Jewish Magazine

After completing high scool, I spent six years studying in Rabbinical seminaries in South Africa, Israel and New York.

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