We take our conversion program very seriously. And we expect our students to do the same. Below are important terms and conditions that spell out in detail what our program does and does not provide.
It looks like a lot of scary legalistic stuff. We promise it isn’t. But we believe that openness and transparency are very important. So make sure to read it through!
WHAT WE DO AND DON’T PROVIDE
Summary (the Quick-and-Dirty)
Darshan Yeshiva provides distance learning conversion to Judaism through a referral system connecting rabbis and students. Students and rabbis own their conversion education and process on their own, with us providing administrative and technological support. We recommend you take your choice of rabbi very seriously and consider the many factors involved in conversion. We do not provide any kind of conversion with the purpose of Jewish citizenship in Israel for any reason.
Our program is only available to students who maintain citizenship in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, or students who are citizens of those countries but are living abroad.
Once you have completed your online program, you will have the ending ritual component. You will need to have finished your payments before this time. Your subscription to our program pays for mikvah and bet din, so you will not incur additional fees.
We recommend after your conversion that you hang on to your conversion certificate and that you get your own copy of your mikvah log or receipt from the mikvah (we do not provide this for you). We’re here to help you after your conversion, but we do not provide paperwork to agencies such as those for Israel immigration.
The Long Version
Darshan Yeshiva (a project of PunkTorah) provides a referral service for students interested in converting to Judaism. Students apply for our program, choosing the rabbi they feel they would most like to work with. We interview students to make sure that the rabbi-student match is a good one, at which point students begin working with their rabbi.
We recommend students keep the following in mind when choosing a rabbi:
- Are you interested in a conversion that is approved by a particular movement in Judaism, a vaad (rabbinical council), an organization or synagogue? If so, you should choose a rabbi within that movement. For example, if you are interested in joining a Reform synagogue in America, you should choose an American Reform rabbi to work with. If you are interested in joining a Masorti synagogue in Spain, you should work with a Masorti rabbi.
- Are you interested in converting for Jewish Israeli status (marrying a Jew in Israel, becoming an Israeli citizen, etc?) If so, you should work with a rabbi in Israel. Note that our program does not work with students who are seeking status within Israel, due to the ever changing nature of religious politics in the country.
- Are you seeking a rabbi who will help with a conversion that does not require bet din, mikvah, brit milah, etc? If so, make sure to choose a rabbi who does not require these components
- Is price a factor? If so, do not apply to work with a rabbi at this time. Take time off from your process. We do not want you to start the program and need to leave for financial reasons
We provide an online learning program (videos, podcasts, handouts, etc.) that serve as the backbone of the educational component of our program. Students and rabbis utilize this for ongoing learning throughout the program so that students are not having to buy books, attend in-person classes, etc.
We give students 30 days after registration to decide if the rabbi they are working with is right for them. If they decide this program and/or rabbi is not right for them, students receive a 100% refund. Do not choose a rabbi based on geographic location or price alone. Doing so will leave you unhappy with your conversion process and we do not want that.
Students work with their rabbi at their own pace. The conversion process is entirely managed by the student and rabbi at that point. Rabbis and students work together to manage their one-on-one meetings, to decide the level of work a student needs to do (or skip) as they go through their online learning.
Once a student has completed their online learning and mentor meetings, students have the final aspects of conversion, typically brit milah/hatafat dam brit (for men), bet din and mikvah. You are required to go to your rabbi’s location for this. Our rabbis do not come to you. All expenses (other than brit milah/hatafat) are included in our program price, so money does not change hands between you and the rabbi and/or bet din.
You will be given a certificate of conversion signed by the members of your bet din. We encourage those who do mikvah to get a copy of their receipt or log book showing their
We want to stay connected with you and your rabbi will be there to support you in your ongoing Jewish life. However, we do not provide any of the following:
- Letters to Israel immigration organizations or Israeli agencies
- Letters to particular committees, agencies (governmental and non-governmental), vaadot, synagogues or similar
We provide the conversion certificate if you need it. We have yet to have a time when a student in the USA needed more than this.
NEED MORE INFO?
You can find everything you need to know about our conversion program in our Conversion Program Question Area in the help desk.
If you still have questions, feel free to submit a help request and someone will email you as soon as possible.