Israel Gap Program, Conversion, Army Questions
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- This topic has 20 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 11 months ago by dumlat.
March 30, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm #608818
I’m a 25 year old 2nd year male graduate student (out of 4) looking to take 1 year off to further ground myself jewishly. I am jewish through my father underwent a conservative conversion in the U.S. but am SS and SK and wanting to follow through with an orthodox conversion so that i can marry in israel in the future and save my future kids the worry of whether or not they are jewish. I should add that i was born in Israel and am an israeli citizen. Any advice on how plan this year (would be able to start in april 2013)?
I’ve considered 1 year yeshiva programs like shappells and aish intermediate with the hopes they would help me with the Orthodox conversion. Any one know if these programs would be open to someone like me? I read hebrew speak conversationally and am observant but with the hopes to really solidify this identity and build the skills to study jewish texts. As a citizen i am also open to the army route but once again have only 1 year and really want to get my conversion straightened out in this time period.March 31, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am #943913aproudybParticipant
You need to be careful with whom you undergo an “Orthodox” conversion in Israel (or elsewhere), as many so-called Orthodox conversions are anything but and are merely pro forma and will not be recognized by the wider world of Orthodoxy.
Are you fully prepared to accept all the yokes and obligations of being full-fledged Jew obligated in the 613 commandments including all of its iterations?
What is SS and SK?March 31, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am #943914
shomer shabbat and shomer kashrut…so to answer your question, yes I’m prepared to accept the commandments and have already started adopting them to the best of my knowledge/ understanding. Would a conversion through the IDF be recognized by the wider world of orthodoxy? anyone know anything about the other programs ^March 31, 2013 1:24 am at 1:24 am #943916chezaMember
The IDF conversions have many problems and are not accepted in the wider Orthodox world.March 31, 2013 2:32 am at 2:32 am #943918yytzParticipant
It sounds like you’re in the US. Why can’t you convert while you’re in graduate school? Talk to your local Orthodox rabbi — even if it’s a small Orthodox community, it may still be possible to convert.
I’ve heard that it is often more convenient to convert in the US (through a widely-recognized beis din) rather than in Israel. After converting here, then perhaps you could take time off to learn in a yeshivah.
That said, I’ve heard (maybe in the CoffeeRoom?) of gerim converting after studying at yeshivas in Israel like Ohr Sameach.
Of course, if you marry a Jew, your kids will be Jewish whether or not you convert, because you’re a man. However, you wouldn’t be able to marry a Jew halachically without converting, whether here or in Israel, and if you have daughters before you convert they would not be able to marry kohanim.
You say you want to “follow through with an orthodox conversion so that i can marry in israel in the future and save my future kids the worry of whether or not they are jewish,” and speaking of getting your conversion “straightened out.”
I just wanted to point out that a halachic conversion is not a technical matter of straightening out your Jewishness, or a hurdle to be jumped over for the purpose of marriage, but rather a fundamental decision: do you want to commit to being an observant Orthodox Jew in every respect for the rest of your life? If so — and it sounds like this may indeed be your intention — then you shouldn’t have any problems in completing the gerus. Hatzlacha with whatever you decide to do!March 31, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #943919
In Israel the most common way of converting is via the Rabbanut, which imposes a strict 1 year requirement: you must spend at least 1 year going to courses organized by them, supervised by them.
Machon Meir does a special conversion track, I believe.
*However* in your situation, seeing that you are already an Israeli citizen, you *can* also undergo giur through a private orthodox beis din. This is more relevant if you want to be chareidi, really. (From the way you describe it I’m guessing you’re more like Modern Orthodox).
There are several chareidi botei din in EY that deal with giur, without necessarily being recognized by the state. The most prominent is the beis din of Rav Nissim Karelitz in Bnei Brak. If you undergo giur there, you *can* subsequently get registered as Jewish by the Rabbanut and get married via the Rabbanut. (However, you cannot get apply for Israeli citizenship/residency – ‘aliyah’ based on that; but that doesn’t apply to you since you’re a citizen already.)March 31, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm #943920
To add – even if you’re not 100% chareidi, the Bnei Brak beis din may still be able to help you. They will not require a 1-year waiting perioid. If your knowledge is good and you are sincere, they will accept you immediately without any delay. And you won’t have any problems getting anyone to recognize your geirus.March 31, 2013 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #943921takahmamashParticipant
Why don’t you contact Shappell’s or Aish directly? They have websites with contact information.March 31, 2013 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #943922
The prvate beit din of R’ Nissim Karelitz is NOT accepted by the state Rabbanut. There were several articles in the Jewish media bout those converts being deported from Israel.March 31, 2013 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #943923charliehallParticipant
“The IDF conversions have many problems and are not accepted in the wider Orthodox world.”
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef accepts them.
“It sounds like you’re in the US. Why can’t you convert while you’re in graduate school?”
I agree. Find the local Orthodox rabbi and talk to him. He can supervise you and take you to a respected out of town beit din if there is none in your community. I know many who have done that.
Good luck!March 31, 2013 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #943924
I don’t know what the status of conversion in mamlachti circles is like these days in Israel.
After Rabbi Druckman’s retirement last year, there has been nobody to replace him in the position of Conversion Authority head. The status of giyur in Israel is now in limbo.
If you want to get married in Israel, you may have issues.March 31, 2013 7:44 pm at 7:44 pm #943925dovveMember
rd: The State doesn’t provide citizenships to geirum from the Bnei Brak beis din (an issue that is irrelevant to the OP) but the Rabbanut most certainly does recognize the validity of their conversions.April 2, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #943926
As dovve says. I know some people who did that and they didn’t have any issues.
I recommend that route only to those who are of Jewish ancestry and/or otherwise already fall under the ‘Law of Return’ – such as the OP (dumlat).April 3, 2013 2:35 am at 2:35 am #943927VogueMember
STOP! We are missing a very critical point here! Halachically, one’s yiddishkeit is passed on to them by their MOTHER, not their father.April 3, 2013 7:58 am at 7:58 am #943928MammeleParticipant
Right, that’s why he wants to convert, he’s not Jewish but because his father “converted” he’s an Israeli citizen. And practicing some mitzvos.
However you are correct if you are implying that he may not yet “fully” practice Shabbos. Which he probably isn’t if his understanding of hilchos Shabbos is limited.April 3, 2013 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #943929
Ironically, a convert lacking any Jewish parentage or grandparentage could be Reform or Conservative and make aliyah, whereas many Orthodox converts wouldn’t be allowed to make aliyah.April 3, 2013 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #943930kollel_wifeParticipant
STOP! We are missing a very critical point here! Halachically, one’s yiddishkeit is passed on to them by their MOTHER, not their father
Dumlat: Question we all need to know – is your mother Jewish? If so, you wouldn’t need to convert at all.April 3, 2013 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #943931
Ironically, there were several who felt that the child of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father would require conversion (R’ Akiva Eiger on YD; Maharit Algaze, Bechoros 47; Yam Shel Shlomo, Yevamos 16b).April 4, 2013 9:03 am at 9:03 am #943932
@kollel_wife – I think the OP knows that…
@rebdoniel – true, but I haven’t seen any current posek who actually holds by that.April 4, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am #943933
There was a state dayan in Haifa, R’ Shlomo Yaluz, who actually did hold like those mekorot. If you look in the Jewish Law Annual from 1978 (IIRC), R’ JD Bleich discusses the case.April 11, 2013 2:37 am at 2:37 am #943935
thank you for all the responses. a lot to think about and digest. Regarding some of the questions posed. My father is jewish (jewish mother grandmother etc.) and an israeli citizen who immigrated to the U.S. My mother is not jewish. (they married in cyprus i think not israel).
How does one go about finding a ‘widely accepted’ beis din here in the U.S? For my future life plans it is very important to me that the Israeli rabbinate see my conversion as valid and hopefully also the wider orthodox community.
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