Rabbi Menachem Cohen




Conversion requirements

Brit milah/Hatafat dam brit:

Required (Approved certification of the procedure is also acceptable.)


Required (The Mikvah at Beth Hillel B'Nai Emunah in Wilmette, Ill. or a natural mikvah - Lake Michigan)

Beit din:

Required (Rabbis, lay leaders, and/or scholars)

Conversion location:

Chicago, Ill.

Mentoring sessions available in:


Conversion requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Brit milah/Hatafat dam brit:

Required (No change)


Required (No change)

Beit din:

Required (No change)

I am happy to work with

Families with children, People who identify as LGBTQ+, People in interfaith or dual-faith relationships

Personal statement

After working full time for 11 years on the streets of Chicago, Ill. with LGBTQ+ and/or homeless youth, I started a game company and a spiritual direction practice. We mostly make tabletop games with social impact. For example, our first game is about homelessness. In addition, I am a partner at AlleyCat Comics in Chicago. During all this, I served as the founder and rabbi of the Mitziut Jewish Community, an alternative, independent Jewish community that gathers for Shabbat, holidays, learning and schmoozing — all with a spiritual and mystical flavor. I also co-founded the now defunct Black Rock Jewish Community Center (JCC).

My past work includes working with isolated and lonely seniors at Little Brothers/Friends of the Elderly in Minneapolis, Minn. and with deaf children with behavioral and emotional issues at the Center on Deafness in Northbrook, Ill. The strangest job I’ve had was recording the meters on gas pumps at stations after they closed.

I have a special commitment to queer people, non-monogamous people, sex workers, and the kink/fetish community. Not because people in these communities need to be saved, but rather in my decades in/with these communities, I have seen they feel uncomfortable or even unsafe seeking spiritual care, and have been passed over or worse by spiritual care providers.

Most importantly, I am a dad.

In closing, I don’t have answers for you — I have information and questions. I will accompany you on your spiritual journey, sharing my experience and education, as you seek answers (or at least responses) to your questions.


Hebrew Seminary
Smicha (Rabbinical Ordination)
Graduate Certificate, Spiritual Direction