There are a variety of options for how to begin the process, but all involve study with a rabbi. Some people study with an individual rabbi for a period of time, and other people enroll in group classes designed especially for converts.
Luckily, Judaism can hold its own in this wild ride -- because it already has a very big "buffet" that can appeal to a wide range of different tastes. We get in trouble when we focus on only one part of this buffet as if it's the whole thing. That smells like dogma. If we can display all the spiritual, cultural, mystical, intellectual, historical, ritual, artistic and communal courses of the great Jewish feast -- and invite Jews to partake in its many delights -- maybe the new generation will stop dismissing or trying to "upgrade" Judaism, and, instead, will explore what's being offered until they find something that turns them on.
You can't talk about Jewish philanthropy without talking about Jewish priorities. For many years now, a huge priority for the American Jewish community has been to fight assimilation -- what is elegantly called "Jewish continuity." It's a priority that is rarely challenged. How do you argue against Jewish continuity?
Christy's bat mitzvah was a monumental event for her entire family. The synagogue was full, featuring out-of-towners from New York, San Francisco and Raleigh, N.C. It was the first time that many of them had been in a synagogue.I spend countless hours preparing for these days with students and their parents.