Sunday, 2 April 2017

Can you help a non-Aussie?


I'm a Canadian living in Asia, nowhere near a non-Orthodox Jewish community, and am highly interested in learning more about (progressive) Judaism in support of a possible conversion in the near to mid-future. It appears you have online Intro classes.

My questions are obvious. Do you take non-Australian tutees residing outside of Australia? Also, are there any significant differences between your presentation of Judaism and that presented by the Reform movement (in Canada, in case that's a significant point)?



Hi Sarah,

The basic answer is yes - we certainly welcome students from outside Australia, and Progressive Judaism as taught on our course is a 'close sibling' of US/Canadian Reform (we are all members of the World Union for Progressive Judaism,  The US/Canadian movement covers a spectrum from more traditional to very liberal, and we tend to be towards the more traditional in practice and learning, but more liberal end in terms of beliefs etc.

The more complex answer is that ours is an 'Introduction to Judaism' course.  It would prepare you well to complete conversion in Canada (or with us).  But to convert, it is necessary to have a developing relationship with a congregation, so you can attend shabbat and festival services and become part of a community.  It is very hard to be a Jew on your own - and virtually impossible to convert on your own.

We had an excellent student from deepest New Zealand - she completed the course and attended our December open weekends in Melbourne twice running several years ago.  But she then decided to move to Melbourne six months ago and has become involved with the community and attending several times weekly - and went to the Bet Din (Jewish Court) and was accepted last month.  

I hope this is a useful response. If you have not already done so I would refer you to https:// to read my responses to a range of other queries, and to
where you can do two free trial introductory sessions and then get registered and started if you wish.

If you could give me a bit more background about yourself, family/partner, where exactly you are located to see if we have a community in the vicinty etc, it will help me give you better guidance.

Shabbat Shalom (the greeting leading up to shabbat)

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black

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