Becoming a Jew

There are many paths that might have led you to choose to explore converting to Judaism. Whatever your reason, we hope we can help guide you through your exploration and learning. While Beth El does not have a formal conversion program, our rabbis work individually with those who are interested in becoming Jewish. We will help you connect with introduction to Judaism courses in the area or online, meet with you one-on-one, and support you as you bring Jewish rituals and practice into your life.

This process of learning and reflection culminates, you will be called before a Beit Din, a ritual court composed of three people, at which time you will share your journey to this moment and your vision for your Jewish life. With the Beit Din’s approval, you will immerse in a mikvah, a ritual bath. Prior to immersion, males must undergo ritual circumcision or hatafat dam brit, a ritual for those who are already circumcised.

If you would like to meet with one of our rabbis to begin this process, please contact Zoe Raynes at or 914-235-2700, ext. 228.

Building Your Jewish Library

One piece of being a Jew is a lifelong engagement with Jewish learning. Below are some suggestions of books to begin building your Jewish library and to guide you in your exploration.

  • JPS Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) with English translation
  • The Jewish Holidays by Michael Strassfeld
  • To Life! A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking by Harold Kushner
  • Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin
  • Living a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant
  • Entering Jewish Prayer by Reuven Hammer