Conversion Resources

Posted on: 
Monday January 31, 2011

The books listed below either deal specifically with conversion or are good introductions to various aspects of Jewish life.

Books about the Conversion Process

  • Embracing Judaism, Rabbi Simcha Kling, revised by Rabbi Carl M. Perkins (Rabbinical Assembly, 1999). This book is widely used by Conservative Jewish converts.
  • Judaism: Embracing the Seeker, Rabbi Harold Schulweis, 2010. This volume includes testimonies by more than 50 Jews by Choice and comments by an array of rabbis.
  • Choosing a Jewish Life, A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for their Family and Friends, Anita Diamant, 1998.
  • Becoming Jewish; A Handbook for Conversion, Rabbi Ron Isaacs, 1993.
  • Your People, My People: Finding Acceptance and Fulfillment as a Jew by Choice, Lena Romanoff with Lisa Hostein, 1990. A guidebook written by a convert for other converts.
  • To Be a Jew, (Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin); Choosing to be Jewish (Rabbi Marc Angel); Becoming a Jew (Rabbi Maurice Lamm) – these books present conversion from an Orthodox point of view.

Memoirs about Conversion

  • Lovesong, Julius Lester, 1988. The compelling story of an African American academic exploring his Jewish roots and choosing to convert. 
  • Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son’s Return to His Jewish Family, Stephen Dubner, 1999. Dubner, one of eight children in a Catholic family recounts his journey back to the tradition his parents rejected when they converted to Catholicism.
  • An Orphan in History: One Man’s Triumphant Search for His Jewish Roots, Paul Cowan, 1982. A classic tale of embracing the Jewish heritage abandoned by the prior generation.

Books about Judaism

  • The Observant Life: The Wisdom of Judaism for Contemporary Jews, Rabbi Martin S. Cohen & Rabbi Michael Katz (editors), 2012. An indispensable collection of essays covering all aspects of the Conservative Movement’s approach to Jewish life.
  • To Life! A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, 1994. An exuberant introduction to Jewish tradition and practice by a Conservative rabbi.
  • The Tapestry of Jewish Time: A Spiritual Guide to Holidays and Life Cycle Events, Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, 2000. A Conservative rabbi presents all you need to know about the Jewish calendar and important milestones in life.
  • Living Judaism: The Complete Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition and Practice, Wayne Dosick, PhD, 1999. An overview of Jewish philosophy and theology, rituals and customs.
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