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Conversion to Judaism: A Guidebook Paperback – July 1, 1994

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This comprehensive book, infused by an attitude of welcome and understanding, will be useful to those who think of becoming Jewish, and to their families on both sides. One of my students said this was the most helpful guidebook for the would-be convert yet. (Rabbi Rachel Cowan, The Nathan Cummings Foundation)

Though Jews are frequently referred to as 'the people of the book,' there are in fact very few books that one could read that would help a person become a part of the Jewish people if he or she was not born of it. In an age of the 'user-friendly' guide to virtually all interests and endeavors, Professor Epstein has performed a holy service in producing a 'user-friendly' guide to modern Judaism, making entrée into it readily available to all who might be interested. (Dr. Egon Mayer, Jewish Outreach Institute)

It should serve well, and represents a good motivational tool without in any way 'preaching' or utilizing devices that are meant to wheedle. Its forthright approach is one of its greatest assets..... (Dr. Morton K. Siegel, The United synagogue of Conservative Judaism)

Down-to-earth and accessible, this guide will be useful for those looking for a thorough yet brief introduction to Judaism and the path toward conversion. (Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, Union of American Hebrew Congregations)

It should serve well, and represents a good motivational tool without in any way 'preaching' or utilizing devices that are meant to wheedle. Its forthright approach is one of its greatest assets. (Dr. Morton K. Siegel, The United synagogue of Conservative Judaism)

About the Author

Lawrence J. Epstein is a professor of English at Suffolk Community College in Selden, New York. He has written more than 100 articles, stories, and reviews on Jewish life that have been published in major Jewish periodicals.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.; First edition (July 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568211287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568211282
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
When I was nearing the final stages of my conversion process, I found this book and wished I had found it sooner. Contained therein is the clearest, most comprehensive collection of blessings, observances, and laws the ger will need to begin their life as a Jew.

Although there is a significant portion dedicated to the ceremony itself, it does not provide for merely light reading. This book serves to calm the fears converts may have about circumcision, the mikveh, etc. and offers them a brief historical framework for them to begin to develop a certain sense of past for their new faith.

I contacted Lawrence Epstein via email regarding issues in his book I wasn't completely clear on, and I received a detailed, very warm and reassuring response the next day.

For those considering conversion, or for those Jews by birth who might want to brush up on what exactly a Jew is, I completely, whole-heartedly recommend this book. Shalom and mazel tov on your journey!
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Format: Paperback
Conversion to Judaism is a complex process. Whereas many faiths actively proselytize Judaism's traditional posture has been to discourage converts. In this work Lawrence J. Epstein provides a very useful guidebook for those who would nonetheless persevere in the effort.

He provides important historical information and background in regard to conversion. He discusses the subject in general including the reasons why people convert. He provides personal stories as examples. He looks at the Conversion process from the point- of - view of the major Jewish religious denominations. He answers questions potential converts are most likely to have.

This work which was initially published in 1994 at Jason Aronson under the supervision of the person who contributed more than any other in the past half- century to the publication of English- language Judaica, Arthur Kurzweil is even more vital today than it was then. For the numbers of those who are potential candidates for conversion has increased.Also given the demographic crisis the Jewish people is presently facing a number of important figures, including Epstein himself are calling for the changing of general policy on Conversion in order to facilitate the process.

A highly valuable and much recommeded work.
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Format: Paperback
The author gives his heart to explain the what and why's of conversion. It covers all grounds you should know about basic judaism without drowning the reader with too much detail. It is very informative and full of insights that will guide you in the process of conversion. I highly recommend this book to those who like me is contemplating to be "a jew by choice".
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Format: Paperback
I have written and deleted about five review for this book already, since this is such a sensitive issue for me, I will keep it short, I hope you forgive me.

- The book does not take for granted that your main reason for learning about conversion is a romantic interest in a jewish person.

- It shares with the readers experiences of people who went through the conversion process as well as incredible histories that are wonderful and interesting even outside the scope of the book.

- The author does a great job at balancing the spiritual aspect of life after conversion with its practical implications.

- It has a extremely good amount of information regarding holidays and rituals.

The author is just a great writer.

I hope this helps.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the books I have read concerning the subject of conversion, this one was perhaps the most enjoyable and informative. I love his antidotal style of writing and the inclusion of Lena Romanoff's story, Flowers for Shabbos. I also appreciate his ability to concisely explain Jewish thought and the reasons behind it, at times in contrast to popular Christian beliefs or mainstream social practices having their roots in Christianity. My copy is highlighted and tabbed so that I can re-read certain sections. This is the book that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in conversion and to their families and friends for greater understanding of conversion--the whys and the hows--and the Jewish people.
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This book has helped me in understanding the conversion process.

I especially appreciated the author's even treatment of the different Jewish movements, mainly Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist.

He explains not only the conversion process in these different movements, but also gives the reader an introduction to the Jewish faith. He talks about Jewish beliefs, texts, and practices. He also gives a list of resources in the back of the book that appear to be quite helpful, especially for the new Jew.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outstanding. Great overview for a person like me working toward conversion. As others have noted, he does not automatically assume that you have to be involved in a romantic relationship to want to convert.
This book is filled with useful information and referrals to great resources for more detailed information. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did a lot of research online and read reviews of several books before I selected one, of which I thought would usher me into Judaism, answering many of my concerns while making me aware of items that are vitally important to the Jewish community and faith.

This book gives the reader a full scope of what Judaism means, its history, why it's sacred to Jews and about living a Jewish life. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone, especially those converting to and who are considering converting to Judaism. I, also, recommend this book to the families of those who have recently converted and who are converting to Judaism, as it will enlighten them about the new faith of their loved one.
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