These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Tag Archives: conversion

[Alumni] You Still Have Chanukah

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Bracha Berkson

I remember the first Chanukah I ever celebrated. It was 2003 and I had been thinking about converting for a little over a year. I was already in the process of meeting with a Rabbi and was beginning to participate in Jewish holidays. I was also living at the time with my non-Jewish boyfriend. November Continue Reading »

[Alumni Guest Post] Political Activist Turned Mikveh Lady

Posted on August 27, 2014 by Ilana Sumka

Cross-posted from Ilana Sumka’s (Year ’05, Fellows ‘6) blog post on the Mayyim Hayyim blog: I’m a political activist by training, so I was as surprised as anyone to find myself teaching Tanakh, (Torah, Prophets and Writings) and Jewish law to a group of conversion students. A few weeks ago I had the profound honor of witnessing my students Continue Reading »

[Alumni Guest Post] Falling off the Kosher Wagon

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Ma'ayan Dyer

From Ma’ayan Dyer’s (Spring ’12, Spring ’13) blog: Even before the completion of my conversion three years ago, keeping kosher seemed relatively simple and came surprisingly easy. Sure, the BLT was my favorite sandwich once upon a time, and the spectrum of the many delicious treyf Italian meats were a goyish treat that I wouldn’t Continue Reading »

Tribal gowns and knit kippot

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Sam Stern

From my blog: She believed in dreams, all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When Prince Charming didn’t come along, she went over to the palace and got him. For anyone who hasn’t already heard the play-by-play (or can’t wait to hear it again) of the Beit Din/mikva experience, click HERE Continue Reading »

Play-by-play:

Posted on February 13, 2014 by Sam Stern

From my blog: Tuesday (Jan 28/27 Shevat): It was a normal Tuesday evening. Finish Pardes classes at 5, frantically run to the bus stop, ride around Jerusalem for about an hour, sit through my lady learning class, talk to Rav D, go home angry. But on this particular night, I left thinking “ma nishtana ha’lila Continue Reading »

It’s all just a power struggle

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Sam Stern

From my blog: No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it. What Being Jewish Means to Me By Sam Stern I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all written this essay before. It probably talks about receiving Hanukka presents, eating matza balls, playing with your friends at temple, and watching Continue Reading »

Just a bunch of stones

Posted on November 10, 2013 by Sam Stern

From my blog: Well, angelfish, the solution to your problem is simple. The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself. It was 1:53PM Monday afternoon as I stood outside of Pardes dialing the Jewish Agency. When the call ended 4 minutes later, I felt so distant from this country Continue Reading »

[Alumni Guest Post] A Holy Stranger with Open Arms

Posted on May 1, 2013 by Emma Sevitz

Alissa Thomas (Spring ’11) blogs about relating to Jewish Converts, inspired by her own father: There is nothing like seeing my father dressed head to toe in all white. His soul hearkens to the time of the Kabbalistic rabbis who, draped in white clothing, would sing Kabbalat Shabbat in the fields. I imagine my father in his Shabbat white Continue Reading »

Why I am Making Aliyah

Posted on April 22, 2013 by Liviah Landau

April 15th, 2013 It’s Erev Yom HaAtzma’ut and just a few days ago I had my first meeting with Nefesh b’Nefesh, an agency that works for North American Jews intending on immigrating to Israel. My application is in, and a few more papers are needed, but the decision has been made. I am making Aliyah Continue Reading »

[Alumni Guest Post] Derekh Eretz by Kim Phillips

Posted on March 20, 2013 by Emma Sevitz

Kim Phillips (Summer ’06) is a marketing professional, artist, writer and teacher in Nashville, Tennessee. One Shabbat morning, the rabbi entered Torah study and, instead of launching into the text, looked intensely around the circle of people gathered there. “I want to know how you feel about Israel,” she said. “However you feel is fine, Continue Reading »

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