I recently posted about exploring Jewish mourning traditions and learning more about my Jewish ancestry (paternal grandfather and great-grandparents were Hungarian Jews and Holocaust survivors). For a number of very personal reasons, I’ve recently been turning away from agnosticism and towards G-d. I have been exploring different Jewish denominations, and while in theory I would like to convert Orthodox, this is not an option for me. I am “engaged” to someone who is not Jewish. He is willing to explore Judaism with me, but has made it clear he doesn’t want me to expect him to convert, and I respect that. It is still a possibility, though. The reason “engaged” is in brackets is because we are already considered married by the state (has to do with common law rules) and I recently found out at the hospital that, without even filing anything, he is listed as my husband in my records. I did not know any of this when I started exploring Judaism.
I am interested in pursuing a Conservative conversion. For one, I’ve been doing a lot of research on my family’s way of practice, and it seems to indicate that they practiced a uniquely Hungarian stream called Neolog Judaism, which is most similar to Conservative/Masorti Judaism. Second, I read this responsum, which gives me hope: https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/public/halakhah/teshuvot/19912000/bergman_unconverted.pdf
My questions are twofold:
- Has anyone in the Conservative movement had experience with this type of scenario or know if a Rabbi would consider the argument in the link as valid?
- Are there any books for a prospective convert, more specifically from a Conservative standpoint, but not necessarily, that you could recommend?
If I cannot convert via the Conservative movement, I still plan to pursue a Reform conversion. The Reform synagogues in my area are very open about accepting intermarriage. But I feel the Conservative movement is more genuine to what I want to pursue (keeping kosher and Shabbat – I even live less than 15 minute walk away from a Conservative shul). Any info or insight would help!
EDIT: I am female. I do not know if this would change anything.