- What costs are involved?We have made the costs as low as possible to allow candidates to go through the program with a minimal financial burden. The tuition covers all lessons, coordination of the actual conversion here in Israel, and your accommodation while in Israel. The only additional costs are the purchase of books for the reading list (12 books), and your flight to Israel to complete the program. Everything else is included in the cost.
- The conversion is done through Rabbi Riskin in Israel, does this mean that I have to go to Israel to convert?At the end of your year of study you will need to travel to Israel to meet with Rabbi Riskin. You will study with your instructor one-on-one during that week, and you will also have the opportunity to see a few sites in Israel while you are there.
- What if I need more time?There are a lot of reasons why a candidate may need more time than one year in order to complete the process. Work, family obligations and health may make it difficult for the candidate to complete all the lessons in the allotted time. Moving to a Jewish community may take more time. Sometimes financial difficulties could mean it will take additional time to purchase the tickets for the flight to Israel. If you need more time, all you need to do is coordinate it with your instructor. If it should take you more than six months (18 months total), an additional fee of $500 will be charged for the coordination of the completion of your conversion.
- Will I have to move into a Jewish community?No matter what conversion program you enroll in, all converts to Judaism are required to live within walking distance of an Orthodox synagogue. Some exceptions may be made for Single women. The synagogue must have a large enough community to support a daily minyan for shacharit (morning prayers), as well as services on Shabbat. The definition of walking distance is flexible, but male conversion candidates must commit to attending a daily minyan as well as Shabbat.
- If I want to make Aliyah, will my conversion be accepted by the Rabbanut?The Israeli Rabbanut acceptance of Orthodox conversions from outside of Israel is a complicated issue. Historically, the Rabbanut has only accepted conversions by recognized Rabbis. While private conversion by Rabbis not on the approved list are often rejected by the Rabbanut, they are accepted by communities outside of Israel. The courts in Israel have ruled that Rabbi Riskin, as the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, has the right to do conversions and Rabbi Riskin is respected around the world and his conversions are accepted in all Modern Orthodox communities. However, this does not necessarily mean that the Rabbanut will accept his conversions for the purpose of aliyah.
There are several solutions to this problem. Please consult your instructor for assistance in determining which path is the most appropriate for your situation.