Why Montreal Jewish Conversion
The Montreal Jewish Conversion program was born of urgent need. Before it was founded, the dearth of a centralized conversion standard in Montreal led to a chaotic situation. Every local rabbi had his own standard concerning conversion, and many of those conversions were subsequently not recognized by the Israeli Rabbanut and other Batei Din across the Jewish world. Until today, descendants of those converts face heartbreaking situations wherein their Jewish status is called into question decades after their ancestor’s conversion.
In response to this trying situation, the Jewish Community Council of Montreal established the Montreal Jewish Conversion Program in 1990. The program’s Beth Din is comprised of rabbis representing Montreal’s diverse Torah communities.
Over the years, hundreds of grateful converts have successfully completed the program and joined the Jewish people. As of today, over 50 conversion candidates are enrolled in the program. Students attend weekly classes in which French and English-speaking instructors teach the fine details of Jewish law (halacha) and Jewish thought (hashkafa). The program is experiential as well, with the curriculum requiring each candidate to have a ‘sponsoring family’ who hosts them regularly for Shabbos meals and festivals (chagim). This exposure to Torah family life enables the candidate to experience the beauty of a Jewish lifestyle. It is a vital component in enabling the candidates to make an informed decision about accepting a true Jewish lifestyle and joining the Jewish people.
The program’s annual Chanukah party provides those in the conversion program with the opportunity to meet and network with individuals who have converted in years past.
Every Jew needs a rabbi to guide and support him/her throughout life in both halachic (Jewish law) and personal matters. As such, the program requires each candidate to connect with a rabbi who will serve as their sponsoring rabbi throughout the conversion process and beyond. The sponsoring rabbi also helps to match candidates with synagogues and communities in which each candidate will feel comfortable and thrive. The conversion program assists each candidate in finding a supporting rabbi.
The program’s Beth Din convenes weekly to meet with candidates and discuss each potential convert’s progress and any challenges which may crop up along the way. Our Beth Din collaborates with other official Batei Din (rabbinical courts) throughout the international Torah community including the Israeli Rabbanut. Converts of the Montreal Jewish Conversion Program are recognized by every worldwide Jewish community as true and authentic converts.
Note: If you are considering Jewish conversion, please understand the following: While other programs may offer a less lengthy and rigorous conversion process than the Montreal Jewish Conversion Program, the rigorousness of a program only underscores its authenticity. Changing one’s religion is a big deal and has enormous ramifications for you and your future generations. It must therefore be handled accordingly. An “instant conversion” may save you time now, but will provide no shortage of heartache, angst, and pain to you, your spouse, your children and your future generations, as issues regarding the authenticity of your conversion come forth. The stellar reputation of Montreal Jewish Conversion will provide you with the peace of mind that the conversion process will enable you to join the Jewish people as a proud, full-fledged, and beloved convert.
Wishing you an inspiring and successful journey!
Montreal Jewish Conversion and its wonderful staff -especially the teachers – provided a vast support system and a strong foundation of knowledge for beginning my life as the Jew I had long seen myself identify with.
I have known Montreal Jewish Conversion Program for 10 years now, their passion is to help many people to be good Jews. They help us to grow not only knowledge but also to have a proper real Jewish life experience among the Jewish neighborhood.
It has been roughly 18 years since I completed the Geirut program with Montreal Jewish Conversion. I had made the decision to convert while visiting Israel after university and returned to Montreal shortly thereafter. This was a difficult period in my life because I was the only person who was convinced of my decision.