Montreal Jewish Conversion is the Jewish Community Council of Montreal’s program to guide and assist potential converts on their journey to making the decision to join the Jewish people. It has acquired its reputation for excellence because of its comprehensive program of both academic and experiential learning. Classes are provided in both French and English, with accommodations for other languages when necessary. (** A detailed syllabus can be viewed here.) The rabbis of Montreal Jewish Conversion work in continuous collaboration with universally recognized orthodox Batei Din (Rabbincial courts) throughout the Torah community world wide.
The foundation of the conversion program is its set, curriculum-based structure. There are weekly classes that meet for approximately three to four hours per week and are honed to provide a broad knowledge base on Jewish life and Jewish living. The courses are presented in an ongoing cycle so that students can start at any point in the year and know that they will not have missed any topics. Each participant in the program is expected to attend classes for a minimum of 1.5 years, with the possibility of Continuing longer, which is determined on an individual basis by our staff.
Converting to Judaism is a life changing process, so Montreal Jewish Conversion offers extensive opportunities for its participants to have in-depth exposure to observant Jewish life. Significant effort is put into finding each participant an appropriate network of support necessary for sincere integration.
- Every Jew needs a Rabbi to guide and support them throughout their life in both Halachic (Jewish law) and personal matters. This is a priority for all Jews but bears particular importance for someone new to Judaism. Each participant in Montreal Jewish Conversion is required to connect with a Rabbi who will be their sponsoring Rabbi throughout the process of conversion. Montreal Jewish Conversion assists individuals with this requirement.
- Family is the heart of Jewish life, and each participant needs a sponsoring family. Montreal Jewish Conversion introduces participants to wonderful support families throughout the diverse Montreal Jewish community - Ashkenazi, Sefardi, Chassidic, Lubavitch and Russian families. These wonderful families provide a warm, welcoming environment where participants can see and experience Torah life as it is meant to be. Shabbat, Jewish holidays and life cycle events become shared experiences. The connection between these families and the participant is often maintained long after the conversion is complete.
The Rabbis of the Bais Din and the teachers make personal connections with the candidates throughout, and long after, the conversion. The Bais Din meets weekly to review candidates* progress. Teachers open their homes regularly for Shabbat and holidays, as well as for special gatherings on Sukkot, Tu B'shvat, and Purim and for informal coffee get-togethers.
Outside of the classroom setting, a yearly shabbaton (weekend retreat)* is hosted in a beautiful location in the Laurentians, north of Montreal. On Chanukah, a dinner is held in a Montreal restaurant or at the MJC offices, now an annual tradition for over 18 years. Both of these events provide Montreal Jewish Conversion participants an opportunity to meet and network with previous program participants who successfully completed the program.