Belsize Square Synagogue takes great pride in its conversion programme, under the auspices of Rabbi Botnick and the Masorti Bet Din (rabbinic court).
Our prospective Jews by Choice study with Rabbi Botnick and Cantor Heller each week (Monday nights) in a year-long Introduction to Judaism course that incorporates learning Hebrew reading (some vocabulary and comprehension), Jewish theology, holidays, life cycle, synagogue ritual and liturgy, literature, Torah, comparative religion, musar (ethics) and history from the Biblical period to the contemporary world.
Our students create their own hevruta (strong bond of friendship with each other), organise Shabbat and holiday evening meals, come to services, and learn quickly to adapt to their new surroundings (and feel comfortable and supported in their journey every step along the way). At the end of approximately a year, our candidates come before the Bet Din, undergo a thoroughly halachic conversion (authentic, Jewish legal process), and are usually prepared to be called to the Torah for an aliyah and begin studies for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
One of our students from the past year is already making way to attend rabbinical school! That, of course, is a huge commitment that most will not and do not have to undertake, but an indication of the kind of enthusiasm that usually accompanies those who become a part of the Belsize Square conversion programme.