Ohev Sholom Conversion Program
Converting to Judaism
Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue offers a conversion program for people looking to convert under the auspices of Orthodox Judaism. Even though we are a local synagogue, we run a conversion program with formal guidelines. The conversion program requires a rigorous personal commitment of time and energy. Please read the guidelines and expectations, and if you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman at MaharatRuth@ostns.org.
Please see the guidelines below to learn about conversion at Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue. The guidelines include information on the application process, the requirements of the conversion candidate, and the obligations of the clergy and synagogue to the conversion candidate (e.g., the rights of all conversion candidates).
Our congregation is unique in the sense that both Rabbi Herzfeld and Maharat Friedman oversee the conversion program. While the formal Beit Din consists of three male Orthodox Rabbis, the Maharat is involved in every conversion.
- Ohev Sholom Conversion Guidelines (PDF)
- Application to convert to Judaism at Ohev Sholom (online form)
"Conversion with Maharat Ruth and Rabbi Herzfeld was everything I imagined. I come from a non-religious family, and I learned how to meld my newfound love of Judaism with many of my existing family traditions. Conversion did not change my identity, it enhanced it. Our class met regularly to discuss halacha, prayer and Jewish daily practice, and to share in a safe space any challenges or questions that arose over the course of our conversion. Ohev's openness is reflected in its diverse congregation, and I thank God that my religious and spiritual journey has led me here." -Dina
"I was one of the very first students in Maharat Ruth’s conversion class at Ohev Sholom. We were a small but intimate group, and while the conversion process can be overwhelming and even intimidating, we were supported at every step by Rabbi Herzfeld and Maharat Ruth. For me the conversion was a two-year process. The classes were comprehensive and enlightening and covered many subjects of Jewish orthodox life; ranging from the very basic and simple to the more complex. Each day I felt truly blessed that I was with this shul, in this community, with these people, helping me go through this major spiritual journey. Maharat Ruth is very approachable, knowledgeable and makes you feel at ease. Her leadership and guidance on difficult issues and her courage are inspirational. She and Rabbi are true role models – embodying the principles of what it means to be an Orthodox Jew." -Malka Adina