Mazel Tov to Me

Well, it's over. Between the hustle of getting the conversion finished, packing everything up, and spending time with my family before leaving for Israel, I've neglected writing. General space-cadetness is also to blame. In any case, at the end of April I had my last meeting with the rabbinate and was approved to finish the…

Can We Just Passover Cancel Culture?

One of the most defining aspects of Passover happens before the holidays begins – when Jews rid their homes entirely of chametz, or foods with leavening agents. Because the Jews were forced to flee the Egyptians before their bread had time to rise, they left Egypt with only matzahon their backs – the flat, unleavened crackers that…

Getting Ready for the Second Meeting

Yikes - it's been almost five months since I last wrote! I went out of town to visit my family in June, and then caught Covid, and everything was so hectic for a few months that anything that wasn't of great importance fell to the wayside. Just before I visited my family in June, I…

Candidacy Assessment

Finally it happened - the first meeting with the local Beth Din! This wasn't one of the three meetings that the Beth Din requires for conversion, but rather an initial meeting to assess my viability as a candidate. Because of COVID-19, the Beth Din still isn't hosting meetings in person, so the meeting took place…

On Hold… Indefinitely

Waiting to hear back from your rabbi, who's waiting to hear back from the sponsoring rabbinical court, who are busy dealing with their own congregations and coronavirus, is like sitting on hold with the IRS. You have to provide very specific information, and you have to remember it because the outcomes hinges on you having…

Passover At A Distance

Although the Jewish calendar is full of important holidays, Passover is arguably the most important. The Jewish exodus from Egypt to freedom in Israel is the seminal event in Jewish history, and as Jews re-enact their ancestors' oppression, living through the plagues, and eventually reaching their freedom in this climatic story, they reiterate the importance…

My First Shabbat

This week, I did a really special thing: I brought in Shabbat by myself for the first time! I've been preparing for - and bringing in - Shabbat for many years with the various Jewish families I've worked for, but doing it by myself was different. There were no little kids running around making noise.…