Conversion – Jews by Choice Programme  


Becoming a Jew involves becoming part of a people. Like all nations, the Jewish People has its own culture and civilisation, comprising religion, language, cuisine, art forms and other facets of life. Completion of Bet David’s Jews-by-Choice Programme is the first step to becoming a Jew. We hope that you will come to share with us our enthusiasm for what choosing Judaism represents. Abraham and Sarah were not born as Jews — they were the first to “choose Judaism”. Ruth, a convert to Judaism, was the great grandmother of King David. We recognise the tremendous contributions converts have made to Judaism. We also recognise the difficulties in the choice: with personal feelings, families of origin and certain members of the Jewish community.

The Jews-by-Choice Programme gives instruction in the basic belief system and practice of Judaism, from a Progressive, Liberal point of view, as well as a basic knowledge of the Hebrew language for the purposes of following the prayer service. The course is recognised by the South African Union of Progressive Judaism and therefore by the World Union of Progressive Judaism (the largest organised Jewish body in the world). The course runs for a minimum of  12-15 months, enabling you to experience the full cycle of festivals and to become acculturated into the Jewish People. This process will be enhanced by your active participation in all congregational activities.  The more you participate, the more you will gain from the programme and a positive approach to your studies and congregational life during the year ahead will better prepare you for your future involvement in our congregation and as a member of the Jewish people. Becoming Jewish is more than just an accumulation of factual knowledge but rather a complete way of life.


Taking on a new religious identity is not a frivolous thing. It is one of the most profound steps one could take. Bet David invites those interested in Judaism to enrol in the Introduction to Judaism class. This class, which under normal circumstances meets weekly at Bet David.  However, since March 2020 classes have been conducted via Zoom.  Choosing Judaism is a highly personal journey and not bound by a time frame, but when a student is ready to join the faith, he or she comes before a Rabbinic Beit Din. Should you wish to explore conversion further please contact the office via email;