My First Meeting With The Rabbi

Last Wednesday I met with Rabbi Jonathan at Temple Beth El here in Madison, Wisconsin to meet and discuss the process I will be undertaking to convert to Judaism.  It was a quick meeting to just go over the basics and the general path, and I am excited to begin regular meetings with him following the High Holy Days.  We had never met in person yet, since he had been on sabbatical when I came to the temple for the first time and became a member.  I feel very comfortable now after meeting him.  The other members told me about how wonderful he is and how I would really like him and they were right.  He asked me about my background and upbringing and then told me to make sure that I am comfortable joining a people that have been persecuted, chased, and killed for 2,000 years.  I told him that I am prepared for anything that may get thrown my way and I feel that I am serious in my intention to live a Jewish life and be proud.  I was given a list of books to purchase and read.  I was given the syllabus to the Introduction to Judaism class I will be required to take that begins this coming January.  The class is run by Rabbi Jonathan, the Rabbi at my Reform temple and the Rabbis from the Conservative and Reconstructionist temples in town.  It will run from January until around Mid-May, and then after some more procedures and study after the class, if it all goes according to plan I could have my conversion ceremony in June or July.

I will continue to blog about my journey into Judaism as more things happen.  With the High Holy Days coming up next week I surely will have more insights and thoughts as I experience them as a member of a congregation and someone looking to become Jewish.


About the Author
Ryan Fagan is originally from Southwest Florida, and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he is employed in the financial sector and is active at Shir Tikvah, his Reform shul. He recently converted to Judaism after being raised in a Catholic household. He also goes by his Hebrew name, Aviv.