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. Even the Rabbis of the Montreal Jewish Conversion challenged me as to why I would want to make such a serious change in my life. I was not deterred though because I had no doubts about my decision.
The difficult process of joining the Geirut program helped me start to understand what I was embarking on. It was not just learning about the obligations that a convert accepts upon himself – like keeping Kosher and keeping Shabbos – but coming to realize that becoming a Jew impacts almost every aspect of one’s life. A person must absolutely understand what this means before ultimately deciding if they want to join the Jewish people. These are very real and life long obligations. If one cannot envision themselves finding meaning and joy for the rest of their lives through these laws and customs, then converting would be a grave mistake. Through my conversion process, I came to see more and more of the beauty in a Torah observant life as I continued to learn.
I eventually converted, went back to Israel, and then went to Yeshiva to learn more in-depth for a couple of years. Today, thank G-d, my wife Sarah Rochel and I have five wonderful children that are being brought up with Torah at the center of our home. Life is busy, fun, and is filled with purpose and meaning. The Montreal Jewish Conversion Gerut program was a thorough education.. The critical role the MJC played was in showing me clearly what I was making a decision about.