Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Converting the only 75 Jews in the world's largest moslem country-back from Indonesia

Converting to Judaism in the World’s Largest Moslem Nation
Rabbi Steve Peskind and I recently returned from Indonesia where we converted 75 people to Judaism. They are the only Jews now in Indonesia. There is an empty synagogue in Menado and a fellow who claims to be Jewish, but the synagogue stands empty. These 75 come from 6 different kihillot/congregations they established, on 3 islands. We also passed by a large and beautiful building in Jakarta that used to be an active synagogue until the 50’s, and is now a government building. We birthed the only Jewish communities in the fourth largest nation, and largest Moslem predominated nation, in the world.
      We also met a fellow who is the leader of a group of former Jews, now Protestants, who have a club to maintain some ties to their Jewish roots.
     Our 75 represent several communities, which came together Jan 29 and 31 in Menado (North Selawsi) and Jakarta, Java. The group in Menado included a community from Ambom, who took a boat 3 days in rough seas to get there. One elderly woman got so seasick on the voyage she had to be hospitalized and missed the conversions. We converted them in the ocean, and held the beit din meetings in members’ homes on Menado and at the hotel lobby in Jakarta.
     These are very brave people and this is their story.
     Safety. Menado is almost totally Christian so we never felt any concern. The people loudly sand the shma in public at the beach. Jakarta is a city of 25 million, 90% Muslim and they estimate 30% radicalized. The Indonesia government is trying to suppress the radicals, but there was a terrorist bombing in Bali last year that killed 200. Almost everyone we converted were originally Christian, which reduced and potential concern, but a few were Moslems, which could have been a problem. Jakarta was the only place we felt some tension. We converted the people on a public beach, with many Moslems around us, and I the middle of loud Friday afternoon Moslem prayers being blared from the loud speakers. The people observing evidently felt we were VChristians doing some kind of starnge baptism, except one convert wore a T shirt with an Israeli flag on it and one fellow was obviously wearing tzizit/tallit katan. The beit din meeting interviews were held outside, in a poolside restraint by the hotel pool and we were left alone
     How did we get involved? I created a distance conversion program originally in 2007, based on my 700+ videos on youtube, originally as a Conservative (Rabbinical Assembly) member. Last year Rabbi Peskind, a Reform rabbi and I went to El Savador and converted 50, who have formed 3 separate kehillote. I was contacted in 2010 by two individuals in Indonesia who wanted to convert with their families. I communicated with them in the regular fashion and sent them the course and program which they finished. We had frequent communication, at which time they informed me they wished to continue further study with my para Rabbi program, and they had about 75 people with whom they were shepherding and teaching,  who were living as Jews in organized communities and wanted to officially convert. They had reached out to others, including Chabad, and the Conservative movement, who refused to assist with the conversions. The group leaders, after studying in my distance learning conversion course and para rabbi course, asked if I could come with another Rabbi and we’d form a beit din with one of the fellows we had already converted who is their leader and mentor, and convert them. They are poor by Western standards and their leader raised the funds to pay our way.

 From the pictures you’ll see they all wore loose fitting closing. It is punishable by death to be nude in public in Indonesia, (outside of some beaches in Bali) so we felt had no choice but be lenient on this  if we were to convert them. A 1969 responsum by Rabbi Benjamin Kreitman - approved unanimously by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly - explains that The swimming pool would be acceptable where no other solution is available. Rabbi Kreitman presents all the sources to substantiate this responsum. It is available (in Hebrew) in Golinkin, David, ed., Proceedings of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement, 1927 - 1970, Vol. III, pp. 21. The issues involved are:  The woman must immerse in the nude or in very loose clothing,  so there is no hatzitzah (something that separates the water from the skin). Lose clothing should be worn for immersion in the ocean as well.

Rabbis have to decide if we are better not having these 75 people Jewish because we insisted they risk their lives and be nude in public, or do it a way the Talmud and rabbi Kreitman’s teshuva allowed.  There also were two males whose medical conditions did not allow circumcision. The Conservative and Orthodox Rabbinic  practice would have turned them away. We could not.

But all immersed in a kosher mikvah (what’s more kosher than the ocean?), males had hatafat dam brit (except those 2) and a beit din.

Beit din: It was based on the essays they wrote, (based on these questions:
Here are the questions we ask them to address:
The following Essay is written with the questions below as the pointers of ideas for the essay.
1.     Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
2.     Which Jewish values do you find most appealing and persuasive?
3.     How is Judaism more appropriate for you than your former religion or worldview/lifestyle?
4.     Describe your understanding of and relationship to God.
5.     How has your personal and home life changed because of Jewish tradition? How do you see your Jewish life progressing in the future?
6.     Describe your sense of identification with the Jewish people in relation to Israel, world Jewry, the local Jewish community and your synagogue.
7.     What is your commitment to prayer, Shabbat and keeping kosher?
8.     How do you plan to continue your Jewish study?

brief in-person interview and standard questions posed by the rabbinical assembly as well as a Declaration of faith both translated into Indonesian). These are the questions and the declaration.
I hereby declare my desire to accept the principles of the Jewish religion, to follow its practices and ceremonies, and to become a member of the Jewish people. I do this of my own free will, with an understanding of the significance of the tenets and practices of Judaism, and full realization of the commitment I herewith assume.
I pray that my present conviction may guide me through life, that I may be worthy of the sacred tradition and fellowship which I now join. As I am thankful for the privileges thus bestowed upon me, I pray that I may always remain conscious of the duties which are mine as a member of the House of Israel.
I declare my determination to maintain a Jewish home, and accept Kabbalat Ol Mitzvote-the yoke of the commandments incumbent upon all Jews: a commitment to the God of Israel, the Torah of Israel, and the people of Israel . I pledge to live the Jewish way of holiness by accepting the mitzvot of Judaism now and always, here and wherever I may be. I have determined to the best of my ability, to make the following Jewish observances an integral part of both my life and that of my family: Jewish education for all children to be born or adopted by me, observance of Shabbat and holidays, incorporation of kashrut, affiliation with a synagogue and attendance at services, regular prayer, gemilut hasadim –deeds of loving kindness, identifying with the Jewish community and the State of Israel, and the study of Torah.  Should I be blessed with children, I pledge to bring them into the Covenant  of Abraham and to rear all children with whom God may bless me  in loyalty to the Jewish faith and practices.
                                    PRAISED BE HIS SOVEREIGN GLORY FOREVER

Beit Din:

………………………………………………….          Date   Jan. 31, 2014
…………………………. ………………………         Place Menado, Indonesia

They read a translated version in Indonesia before us and then Benny certified the English copy they signed for us was a direct translation and they all signed it.

Here it is in Indonesian as well as the questions.
 untuk dibaca di depan Bet Din dan ditandatanganiallah

Dengan ini saya menyatakan keinginan saya untuk menerima prinsip-prinsip iman agama Yahudi , untuk mengikuti praktek-praktek ritual atau upacaranya, dan menjadi anggota dari komunitas Yahudi . Saya melakukan ini atas kemauan saya sendiri , dengan pemahaman tentang pentingnya prinsip dan praktek Yudaisme , dan kesadaran dan komitmen saya yang penuh, yang pada saat ini saya nyatakan.

Saya berdoa agar keyakinan saya ini dapat membimbing saya melalui hidup , supaya aku menjadi layak untuk mengikuti tradisi kudus dan persekutuan yang sekarang saya mau bergabung . Karena saya bersyukur untuk hak istimewa sehingga diberikan kepada saya, saya berdoa agar saya bisa selalu tetap sadar dan ingat akan tugas yang saya sebagai anggota RUMAH ISRAEL .

Saya menyatakan tekad saya untuk menjaga status rumah Yahudi saya, dan menerima Kabbalat Ol Mitzvote – yaitu beban untuk melakukan perintah/kewajiban yang ditetapkan bagi semua orang Yahudi : komitmen terhadap Elohim Israel , Taurat Israel , dan masyarakat Israel . Saya berjanji untuk hidup dengan cara-cara kudus Yahudi kekudusan  menerima mitzvot atau tanggung jawab Yudaisme mulai saat ini dan selamanya , di sini dan di mana pun saya berada. Saya telah memutuskan untuk melakukan yang terbaik sesuai kemampuan saya , untuk menjadikan Yahudi setelah bagian integral dari kedua hidup saya dan keluarga saya : pendidikan Yahudi untuk semua anak-anak yang akan dilahirkan atau diadopsi oleh saya , ketaatan Sabat dan hari-hari raya , mentaati hukun Kosher , dan berafiliasi dengan sebuah sinagoga untuk menunjukkan kehadiran pada layanan , doa reguler , gemilut hasadim - perbuatan cinta kasih , mengidentifikasi diri pada komunitas Yahudi dan Negara Israel , dan mempelajari Taurat .

Jika saya diberkati dengan anak-anak , saya berjanji untuk membawa mereka ke dalam Perjanjian Abraham dan meneruskannya kepada anak-anak yang mungkin Tuhan akan berikan di masa depan untuk tetap menjaganya dalam kesetiaan kepada iman dan praktek Yahudi .

Terpujilah kejayaan dan kuasa-Nya selamanya
saksi :

............................... Tanggal ....................

............................... Tempat .....................

Rabbi kepada Ger/Gioret
1.     Apa kamu mau memeluk Judaism berdasarkan keputusan hati kamu sendiri, kehendak atau kemauanmu pribadi tanpa ada unsur paksaan dan pengaruh/tekanan yang tidak patut dari pihak luar?
2.     Apakah kamu mau menyangkal segala kepercayaan atau teologi yang telah kamu peroleh dari agama kamu sebelumnya? Dan kamu tidak lagi berhubungan dengan iman dan kepercayaan tersebut?
3.     Untuk menjadi Yahudi, apakah kamu mau menghentikan segala praktek dan kegiatan keagamaan, hari raya dan kegiatan keagamaan lamamu, seperti Baptisan, Perjamuan Suci, doa jamaah di Mesjid, kebaktian di Gereja, doa yasinan, syukuran, doa kubur/arwah, doa adat dan lan-lain  yang masih berhubungan dengan agama lamamu?
4.     Apakah kamu hanya mau menerima Tuhan Israel sebagai Tuhan mu secara universal dan secara ekslusif? Tidak lagi melakukan ritual doa dan penyembahan kepada ilah dalam bentuk manusia, ciptaan di dunia dan perantara dalam bentuk apapun? (Yesus, Budha, dewa/dewi, roh nenek moyang, dll)
5.     Apakah kamu mau berjanji untuk melakukan perintah dan ketetapan dalam agama Judaism, seperti yang telah ditetapkan dalam hukum Yahudi, menurut kemampuan dan pemahamam terbaikmu?
6.     Apakah kamu mau berjanji untuk melanjutkan pelajaran Judaisme mu dan selalu bertumbuh untuk memperhatikan dan melaksanakan perintah Torah?
7.     Maukan kamu mendukung semua orang  yang hendak membangun kembali dan merevitalisasi tanah perjanjian dengan mendirikan negara Israel, dan menjadikan misi ini sebagai bagian dari hidupmu dan hidup anggota keluargamu?
8.     Jika kamu diberkati oleh Tuhan dengan memiliki anak, maukah kamu bersumpah hanya akan membesarkan anak-anakmu dengan agama Yahudi secara ekslusif, dengan melibatkan mereka mengikuti pendidikan Yahudi dan secara rutin menyertakan mereka dalam kegiatan-kegiatan  dan hari raya Yahudi.
9.     Apakah kamu berjanji untuk menggabungkan diri pada komunitas Yahudi dengan cara mengikuti kegiatan di sinagogue secara rutin?
10.                        Apakah kamu mau mengikat takdir dirimu dengan takdir orang yahudi/bangsa pilihan?

He then asked these questions of all of them, translated into Indonesian.


After the immersion, hatafat dam, beit din interviews, questions and declaration, we gave them their papers, put a large tallit over their heads and blessed them and then sang siman tov. They were so thrilled, and some of us were crying. You can see the joy and spirit from the pictures. We understood this is an historic moment and how it changes the lives of so many.

Who are these people? A member of parliament, a police captain, another high ranking police official, two former pastors, (one who resigned his Pentecostal congregation that morning and gave up his career for this), a phd in counseling, business people, farmers. Several essays follow which give you a sense of who and why.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country by population, and the largest Moslem nation. One family from Ambum,  had come from East Timor and a small island, traced their families to 2 Jews who came after 70 and the Temples destruction. The descendants married only each other families over the last 2000 years and maintained Judaism until 100 years ago when they started intermarrying and lost the traditions. Others traced their heritage to Portuguese Jews who fled in the inquisition, who came after 1492. Our leader had a Jewish Grandfather, who heavily influenced him, a Dutch business man. Several others had Jewish grandparents, many part of the Dutch remnant from the Dutch colonization on Indonesia for many years. Mostly they are heroes to us, living in the world’s largest Moslem nation, with aggressive and proselytizing Pentecostal and charismatic Christians as a significant minority. We were so moved by the beauty, deep deep spirit and love of Judaism and kept saying we wish our Jews back home felt the same.

Benjamin wrote: "The first conversion to Judaism in Indonesia, at first consisted 102 candidate converts, and finally 75 people were converted The reason why some withdrawn themselves because : 1. Some did not feel this conversion for them, they wait for other conversion inconvinient to them. 2. Some wanted to be fully sponsorized, but we could not accept any candidate who did not feel obligated to do TZEDEKAH. Everybody has to take a part to finance the programs with his/her own ability. 3. They believe they are already jewish enough (no matter for some generations, their families were converted with other non jewish religions) 4. They want to be jewish but they still want to embrace old beliefs, or at least mix them. But dissapointed that pure Judaism refused any mixed pagan beliefs/practices. Judaism is firm with the jewish faith of Only One G-d (not trinity), One Bible-Torah and One JEWISH family-Yisrael. 5. Christian missionaries approached them to leave our jewish community to go back to churches. However, one family was at last back to us few days before mikveh and got converted. 6. Some felt intimidated by their family /relatives and by religious community leaders. 7. Some candidates finished their paper works, but they did not appear for mikveh and beth dinh. No idea what the reason was. 8. One lady was hospitalized after 3 days trip by boat just for the mikveh ritual and beth dinh."

     Our online distance learning conversion program has helped hundreds become Jewish from every corner of the world.  It is a new approach to Jewish study for conversion, but then again the internet was unknown to the Talmudic Sages. With the population of Jews in many countries contracting significantly or disappearing, and the latest Pew Research Poll on American Jews shows devastating numbers, the time when we could be neutral about conversions is long past.
     People come to our program because their schedules do not permit them to take a brick and mortar class at a set time, or the live in remote areas far from a conversion program or even a Rabbi. Some Jewish authorities believe then these people should not be allowed to convert because they miss the element of community. We respond-one more Jew is better than no more Jews, and we do require them to pledge they will eventually find and participate in a Jewish community. We also direct them to online communities where they can “attend services” and communicate with others. With skype, chat rooms, email, etc, there exists a plethora of ways to communicate virtually.
Once people complete our rigorous course, and write their essay, they often convert with a local rabbi, or they come to Chicago and meet with our beit din and (mohel if called for) and mikvah.
From time to time the community is so large it makes more sense for us to bring our beit din to them. We did this in 2011 to El Salvador, converting 50 people. El Salvador has no rabbi and the Central American rabbis refused to assist the group with conversion or study.
There is now a United Indonesian Jewish Community.
The Indonesian story:
In Feb. 2011 I received this email. I left the typos and grammar as the original

Dear Rabbi

My name is benny Meiramin, 40 years old marriage man
My wife is  a chinese (Guanxi origin) lady and we have had 5 kids;

Let me explain my jewish background/ascentry :
My father , , was a moslem Indonesian man, . Born in Deli (Serdang) Medan- North Sumatra Indonesia. PAssed away in 1992
My jewish background is from my mother,  (passed away in 2000)
Her father was Benjamin  (passed away in Jakarta in 2005), whose father was Louis  - Jewish-Benjamin Tribe, Dutch origin, and mother was Cornelia Agatha Meyers - Yehudim tribe - a refugee from Belgium origin. They were Orthodox jews, the survivors of Nazi Holocaust. My grandfather moved to Indonesian in 1930 before the bomb of his hometown Rotterdam.
When in Indonesia Benjamin  married a widower, Julianna Pangemanan Louis, who had a french mother and grandmother, Luois famiy. But no proof yet if this Louis was Jewish (still in investigation).

My grandfather Benjamin gave name to me Benny/Benjamin once I was born in 1971 and he recited blessing (but no britmillah yet).
My grandfather told he was jewish when I was 14 years old, and he sent me to do britmillah.
In indonesia we have to declare our paper as Christians because of the strong anti-semit acts from radical moslems (political factors).
     SInce 2007, after learning tanakh I discovered that Jews were not christians, they is a big difference and gap between this two religions. And i decided to learn Judaism. However no rabbi and mentor yet.
Since last 2009 I started to have more and more jewish friends, and I started to do my tefillah. I started to have more interest for Yisrael and Jewish people and life style.
In july 2010, My wife and all kids decided to follow me, in observing shabbat (erev shabbat and havdalah only, as kids on saturday still go to school) and do tefiilah.
In my house, we have our judaica, tallits, tallit kattans, shofar, havdalah sets, menorah/hannukiah and tefillins, small Aaron HaKodesh with 4 printed Torah (not kosher ones), just to have a home synagogue, a place to worship and to bring jewish atmosphere at home for my family.

Since early 2010, I met Yohannes in Jakarta regularly, with other jewish descents, we realize that we have to go under full conversions, especially for our wives and kids to be Jewish

After looking through all your online programs, we find they match our need, and after the conversion, we would be happy to continue our study in your online programs.
One days we hope we could be assistant rabbis, as in Indonesia our indo jewsh descents community do not have either rabbi nor synagogue at all. One synagogue left in surabaya besides far away from us, it has been closed since 2010 by radical Moslems.

Kindly advise what the steps to take.


They took our course and the best we could do then was interview them by skype, and they did hatafat dam there and immersed in the ocean in loose clothing (the Talmud allows it and it is a capital crime to be naked in public in Indonesia) and they sent movies of their immersion.

The two men then enrolled in our para Rabbi program so they could provide more spiritual leadership for the community. Then Benny skyped that about 80 people in two cities wanted to study for conversion, that he would teach them using our material and perhaps we could arrange a trip eventually with a beit din to convert them all in Indonesia. Benny is now enrolled in an online rabbinical smicha pogram, since he does not have the time or money to spend 6 years at a yeshiva somewhere and Indonesia needs a Rabbi.

Benny kept us apprised of their progress and finished with them in October 2013. We arranged to bring the beit din out in January and planned to convert 75 people, adults and children, in 2 cities-Jakarta and Manado.

Our beit din consisted of one Reform rabbi, one Rabbi graduated from the Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary and Benny after he converted. A third who had said he was coming with to be part of the beit din had to cancel at the last minute

After the description of events, I’ve added some of the essays the individuals wrote, translated by Benny, the teacher and leader.  They are really worth reading for an amazing story about the desire of people to be Jews. I left some of the original so you can get a feel for the language.

Jan. 27
We left the spelling and grammar unchanged. Benny is a phenomenon. He translated almost all the beit din interviews and we did not know until afterwards he was translating from at least different languages. There is an Indonesian language but there are hundreds of tribes in Indonesia and some speak different dialects or languages. He knew so many. And while driving with him, he’s speak to loads of people as we passed by, and tell us what language that was, and he could tell from their faces where they were from and what language they spoke. There were a few other very good English speakers who helped out a great deal.


I was born as a third son of a moslem father, Mr. Agoes Soedaryono, a district attorney, and a 5th generation of Prince Brawijaya V from last Hindu Mataram_Singosari kingdom, and a secular jewish rooted lady, Juliana Verbrugge..My mother’father, Binyamin Verbrugge  was an ashkenazi – sephardic orthodox jew,  (Coen, Meijer and Smeer) and while her mother, Juliana Louis Pangemanan, a mother’s side french descent from Lewis family, however I was not sure yet, my grandmother’s mother’s family was jewishfamilies. My y father was a moslem,but he was not so fanatic on his religion as he was also embracing a Javanese folk religion, sprititualist / G-d believer. Therefore the pluralist was deeply rooted in my interfaith family.

At our Verbruggen family gathering in 1976, when I was 5 years old, my grandfather Binyamin Verbrugge, suddenly told me that he was not actually from Rotterdam, but from Germany. He told us, the grandchildren, that he was Jewish.. At that time  he told us the story abt Israel, how Israel was chosen by God but he did not want to say about judaism, just mention Jews and Israel. In my next journey, I  found only Christianity had the jewish bibles and Jewish phropets. Even I though Jesus dan Mother Mary were Jewish.  So I assumed Judaism and Christianity were the same (even till I was 37 years old).

The local native people (moslems) in Sumatra humilated me because I was a son of dutch mother. Dutch ever occupied Indonesia for 350 years as her colony. Some traumatic incidents happened when these sumatran people caught me on street and tried to put off my shorts, to see if I was circumsized or not. And in state elementary schools, the islam religion teachers pushed me to recite 2 syahada and fist verses of Al Quran-Al Fateha.
Even monotheism teaching os Islam was my favorite belief, but rude hatred islam teachings taught in state elementary schools and very bad model of prophet Mohammed made me decide never to embrace Islam.

After  my parents’ divorce when I was 11 Years old, I decided to follow my mom, who also lived together with her parents in Bogor West Java. At that time, I had a strict education from my grandfather Binyamin and mom grandmother Juliana Louis P. in Bogor West Java. My life became well organized, but my grandparents did not directly educate me abt Jewish tradition, except the story of Israel, jewish people and their destiny. My mom Juliana Verbrugge did not observe any religion, and lived as a secular lady. She was happy to be invited for Christmas parties in secular ways. However in Bogor,  I still went to a state elementary school with moslem regilion basic education.

One day in Bogor, when I was 13 years old (1984), my grandfather (the father of my mother), Binyamin Vebrugge (ben Louis Cohen-Meijer and Cornelia Agatha Mijer-Smeer), again told me that he was Jewish, and he wanted all grandsons to have britmilah. At first I argued that only Moslems needed circumsicion, while Christians did not requeire. However my grandfather again told us that he was jewish, and it was obligated that his grandsons to be circumcised according to the law of Moshe. After he recited a blessings (in Dutch) he sent us to doctors to be circumcised. It was a little bit confusing me, but I felt happy and peaceful to do such a procedure. After that I moved to Jakarta and separated from my grandparents to live together with my mom and step father.

Because I went to Christian and Chatolic Junior and Senior High Schools, I again heard a lot of story of Israel. I really admired G-d of Israel and Jewish people as a chosen nation. When I was 15 years old, my father took me back to Palembang, South Sumatra. I told my father I did not want to be a a moslem, as mostly the teachings I received from state schools contained a lot of hatred and wars, no peace at all. I told my father I would never accept the models of Islam prophets and rasuls. Prophet Mohammed with 25 wives, war, robbery and rapist spirit,  for me was not a good model of good religious person. At last , when I was 16 years old, because good approach of christian friends to me, my father at last let me go to Church after he saw my good attitude and behaviours in my life as an impact of a good religion- Christianity. People in church are much better than moslems, eventhough I had the objection on Trinity.

My life was wonderful and I became a good Christian until I got married and had 4 kids. Even I donated 20-25% of my salary to Churches. I was really convinced by Christian Theology that because of Jesus, Jews and Gentiles (Churches) were already onea They taught me that churches already became spiritual Israel to replace Jewish people’s position.. I had a good job, with quite good salary, enough to support a family.

On 27 December 2003, after Christmas, I again visited my jewish grandfather, Binyamin. Binyamin told me that he gave his name Benjamin to me as soon as I was born in Menado. He hoped that I could continue his duty to be blessings for other people.
In conversation he checked what I had did for my spiritual seeks. I reported that I was a good supporter and donator for church activities. He told me that what I did looked so good, but regret G-d did not ask me to do them. G-d only asked me to do one duty, but I had done 4 duties. The 3 duties I had been doing were actually not asked by G-d to do.
He told me that G-d would send me to do one mission, and he warned me just to obey and focus on that mission, no other else. He closed the conversation with a phropecy that one I obeyed to do that mission, I should not be surprised nor dissapointed that no single Church would support me. I cried aloud of what he said, but I promised to him to be a good servant of G-d to serve G-d in the rest of my life.. In early 2005, Binyamin passed away (87 years old).

In 2006, my employer sent me home as they had to freeze the business in Indonesia. Because of much spare time in 2006, I decided to study Bible, and I registered myself to study Bile at a Christian seminary, in July 2006.
I did not decide to be a pastor, as I was so secular. I just wanted to study Bible to be a good man.  At that time I really did not know that Judaism was a different religion than Christianity. Early 2007, I took Old testament class Jan 2007. When studying abt the history of Israel, and study of each Bible in Tanach/Old Testament,  I was very shocked learning Ezekiel 36, 37 , 39, Isaiah 11:11-12 that G-d Himself would gather the last israel/jewish people from any part of the world to their land. I did discover that Jewish people had their own destiny, and Churches had nothing to do with Jewish people. I felt that G-d of Yisrael still had to finish all of His promises to Jewish people, and G-d had to restore the kingdom of Israel and the jewish mosiach, not other mosiach. I questioned this to the Doctors and Professor of Theology, and they simply said that it was for Judaism, and Christian who believed in Jesus did not need to involve in Jewish phropecy. I was really upset and disapointed and I told them I had my jewish root, and G-d of Israel had to fulfill all promises to a person like me, and I had to go back to my jewish family.

Since that discussion with the theologian, I decided not to listen to Christian theologians abt Tanach cases anymore. Therefore, I studied Judaism indepedently from internet from 2007 u till 2009. It was really amazing I denounced Christianity in 2007, and seeked other jewish friends and rabbis for discussion. The more study I had, the more I realized that Judaism/Being Jewish was really different with Christianity (paganism). Jewish people really honored shabbat, they had amazing festivals, jewish rites, specific jewish life styles as a chosen nation, and the destiny in the world to do the mission of tikkun Olam/bringing Mosiach.

Being jewish is the biblical answer for my life. Am proud of the perfect Torah given for His chosen people, which becomes the holy guidance of life, until the small daily matters, like kashrut life, kitchen and foods. The more I study and learn new things, this really excites me. And unbelievable, my kids were the first ones telling they wanted to join me to be jews, and my wife to follow after seeing our life changes.I started to believe that Torah was the beautiful and perfect gift from G-d to Israel via Moshe. No other Bible as its perfection. Even no other “god” replaced HaShem (YHVH), G-d is Monotheism and not Trinity. No matter how nice Jesus was,  the christian concept of 100% human and 100% god in Jesus was really non sense for me.

It was funny that the more christian classes I took in that seminary before I moved to Psycho-Counseling Program, the more I believed that Christian was not a religion for Jewish people. Christian concepts are mostly our of Torah, especially the concept of sacrify using the human blood.

I felt more confident that to go back to my Jewish roots. The problem remained that I did not find the proof yet abt the jewishness of my grandmother Louis/Lewis family due to war situation (no documents). Not to wait to find the prrof, i decided to take formal conversion as it was very nice for me to study my jewish roots and beliefs seriously, and process the formal conversion according to halacha well

 I knew Judaism was not accepted as a recognized religion yet, however it is a democratic country which guaranted the freedom of its citizen. I knew we were living in a very strong anti-semit situations, However, I believed HaShem always protected and guided me. I believed a Jew could survive no matter  he is far away from a jewish community, rabbi and synagogue. When a jew had HaShem, he had had everything. A Jew can pray direct to HaShem anytime, everywhere, without depending on synagogues and jewish rabbis. That was the first lesson I learnt when reading the book “To Pray as a jew”. 

After my first visit to Chabad Vietnam in November 2010, I decided to take my conversion class with Conservative or other liberal movements as I could not leave Indonesia to move to Israel for time being. For me all judaism streams are good, and they are still the same jewish family.  In the study of basic Judaism, I started to understand more deeply abt the concept of HaShem – Monotheisme, abt the Torah and Israel/Jewish people. In the books given, I had a lot of answers about the conflicts in Theology between my old beliefs Christianity – Moslems vs Judaism.

From 2010, I had more and more jewish friends, besides my mentor rabbi, I contacted some other jewish emissaries for assistance, including Chabad. But seemed our destiny was in our hands, we had to decide our own future, and had to start doing something from us in Indonesia. We felt a need to have a local jewish community and to have a covering, and train our own people to be local leaders. Those who really understand about my people are my own people.  My friends who had Jewish roots and I, at last, established the United of Indonesian Jewish/Hebrew Community. With this local community we could provide them with social gethering for learning and practicing judaism. We celebrated our own festivals and did our regular shabbat. We could meet and learn Torah together, and provide all jewish sources for studies including the conversion programs.

At last I found the conversion program with Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg . The conversion program I took from Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg in early 2011 was really a helpful source. I finally had a final correct understanding abt G-d, the perfect jewish bible, and the true jewish messiah, and the jewish people destiny. My family and I am ready to meet beth dinh to officially renounce my old belief and embrace Judaism exlusively

I am happy to be able to bring the program to the local community.


Am really blessed with the concept of TIKKUN OLAM. It is clearly stated that any Jew does not have to wait till the mosiach comes to restore the world, but all Jew can bring the mosiach to the world with their roles to restore the world. Jewish life has clear roles/duties, and for me any acitivies and business dones by Jews with this philosophy has already fulfilled the mizvot of Torah :” blessed to bless other nations”.
And Klal Israel also realize me that my duty has something to do with my responsibility with the bigger community.
For me doing this mitzvah is also an expression of my worship and prayer to HaShem. Once I know this duty, I find the purpose of my life in the world and I will find any possibilities to do this mission to other people, jews and non jews.

I grasp Principle of Kashrut life is HaShem loves His people, and He wants to protect His people from any bad impact in their health, body and soul.


First time, I learnt to do Shacharit and wrapped my body with Tallit gadol, I just reliazed the holiness of  YHWH  in  Jewish rites. Then the kashrut concept brings me the understanding of the of the proper foods and life styles in body and soul.
I grasped the deep understanding of Israel as the chosen nation/people, where God of Israel has already made this nation so special, and God has given the perfect and beautiful Torah for His own people, and with Torah, God gives the guidance on how to live, in relation to God and men. God of Israel loves His people so much until the small matters, even He told and taught His people abt the proper foods they have to eat and proper life. All have been shown in His perfect Torah.
I believe Adonai Echad, no other one becoming God or has to be through in. God is so close with me, and every time I do tefillah and Shabbats I could feel and taste His presence to me personally and to all my family members. I never had such understanding before until I embraced Judaism. The concept of HaShem as my Father in heaven really brings me into the condition to become closer and closer to Him, and I believe HaShem only brings the plan of Shalom to His children (Jeremiah 29:11). HaShem has proven to bless me and my family, and prepared all of my needs. In Shabbat,  I have a privilege to come to HaShem in joys, and not coming to HaShem when needed (as I did before). We could bless one another as a jewish family. The symbols used in Judiasm are not merely symbols, they have the biblical deep meanings and I love it when knowing the meaning of mezuzah, tefillin, and tallits for jews. They connect me to the source of everthing, i,e, HaShem

 I experienced so much life changes with me and my family. Firt time my wife looked at me praying, she fell in love in Jewish rites. She was Chinese embaracing her Chinese cultural and beliefs combined with Christianity. She ever had a serious heath problem,and at first ever disliked me because of Judaism. But after she observed the ways I prayed , she asked me to pray for her health problem, and she gradually got better and better. She found it beautiful when I recited blessing for her and kids in Ever Shabbat, she never wanted to leave that moment with me. My wife and I discovered everytime I recited Jewish healing prayer (mi sheberakh) for my kids, they got well. My sons are now proud of being Jewish, and they want to study Hebrew seriously in order to be able to read Torah. When the parent went away, the kids did their own erev Shabbat and havdallah with transliterated siddurs, Kids love Israel so much, and I saw their debates with moslems so seriously and showing their sides with Israel. However, till now, I still forbid my family to disclose our Jewish indentity  as we are under pressure of anti-semit condition from radical moslems.

I started to have new spiritual progresses when I did my own Rosh Hasanah, Chanukkah, Purim and Pesach with some (local and oversea) Jewish people, these festivals brought me deeper understanding in Jewish histories and personal feeling on it.  I fell more rooted to believe I belonged only to Jewish community.
 I believe with further education, and more traditions, my family and I will have more progress and we hope we can have our own Jewish community with our own home synagogues in Indonesia.

My personal spiritual experience with the true living G-d of Yisrael, HaSHem makes me understand that He is much greater than other religion gods. My happiness that at last my wife decided to join with me, and she now joins erev shabbat and havdallah, and with our community she joins our shabbat shacharits and celebrations. She gradually observes kosher foods, only because seeing a lot of positive changes in my life sytle.

 When I heard or watched abt Israel situation and the intifada, I always ctand for Israel, as I know Palestine is the land God has given to the forefather Avraham. Land of Israel belongs to Israel, and can not be separated with Jewish people all over the world. First time, I visisted Chabad synagogue Saigon 2010, I met some old/chabad leaders they welcomed me warmly, no mater I was not jewish yet, but a jewish descent. And every Israel people I met were very happy to see me and they always motivated me to do aliyah. They always assumed I was their Jewish brother already. Whenever I met Jewish brother/sister in Indonesia and other Jewish descents, they directly hug me, and even cried for they never believed they still had some brothers in Indonesia observing Torah and prayed as Jews. On facebook, I received a lot of motivations to survive and seek convert. These fact motivated me more and more to join with jewish community and took sufficient Jewish studies to give me strong Jewish foundation. I feel I more belong to Jewish communities.
 I am busy enough, but this year I have been succesfully to do shacharit and mostly I could do Maariv. I already did Erev Shabbat, Shabbat Sacharit and Havdallah. , and I will have to learn step by step to release my secular and work activities in Shabbat, including receiving phones. So I will set off my mobiles on Shabbat, avoiding going out, and doing transaction. There is no kosher market in Indonesia, but I will have to start and not wait futher more, I will avoid unkosher foods stated in Lev. 11. No pork at all, no shrimp, crabs and other sea foods. I will set Kosher Kitchen with my wife.  If I don’t have a jewish synagogue in Indonesia, our synagogue will be a long distance membership in the Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation

My family members have to be able to read Hebrew fluently, and understand some basic conversation/expressions in Hebrew. I believe a father must be a rabbi for his family. Am preparing my home synagogue. I have had three printed Torahs and one Sefer Torah in Aaron HaKodesh. I will have to teach my kids to do tefilah and Shabbat regularly, and teach them Torah (with Chumash). Besides finishing this basic education, I really want to take Para-rabbi program in order that I can lead my family and the available Jewish community in Indonesia.
I will not leave my profession as a coffee trader and a psycho-counselor for post modern issues, but for me it is beautiful to take a role as a rabbi for my local and far east Asia communities. I would be ready to accept anybody, jews and non jews who want to study Torah exclusively, and i must be ready to serve them with jewish life-cycle ceremonies, so they will not feel they dont have their people and rabbis in Asia. Therefore any online rabbinical seminary with affordable costs would be great for me

To have better spiritual life, I really want to learn Kabbalah under a mentor of rabbi

Conversion to Judaism Course Personal Essay
My given name by birth is Devandy . People used to call me Evan. I was born twenty years ago in 12th April 1993 in Tangerang, the suburb city where the biggest, infamous international airport in Indonesia lies. It is also a satellite city in the west of Jakarta, the capital city of Republic of Indonesia. I’m studying at Universitas Indonesia in Depok majoring Dutch Studies. I’m entering my 4th year of my study and planned to be graduated on September 2014. I’m the eldest son of three brothers and grew up in a family with a quite conservative Moslem background and values. Both of my parents were born in Jakarta. Explaining about the genealogical tree of my background, my father came from a father Javanese noble family background and a mother with Sundanese(-Dutch) noble family background who rules Buitenzorg (now Bogor). My mother were adopted from a father with Muslim-converted Minahasanese-Jewish family background and a mother with Muslim-Chinese family background to a family of Catholic-Javanese Liutenant at the National Army and a Muslim-Javanese woman. Now, she was reunited since the end of 2012.
I followed an informal Islamic education held by one of my neighbour such as how to recite the Koran fluently and how to pray when I sat on primary school. I also entering Islamic Junior High School for three years where I studied intensive Arabic and Islamic courses throughout the years where I was enforced to do the five-times daily prayers towards G-d as my parents do the same thing to me or they went outrageous. With an intensified course in Islamology within the curriculum, I was in the meantime really excited to learn many new things about Islamic values and teachings.
Soon after, I found out many things that were not suitable or even “civilized” enough to my personal thoughts and way of view. I was indoctrinized by the religious teachers that there is no other true faith except Islam and sees the other people who are not Moslem aren’t worthed enough to receive the grace of G-d or even to reach Heaven because what they have been lived for is worthless. Those kind of teachings made me thought that G-d is too picky to give His heavenly grace to humankind. I’ve been builded by the environment as a fundamentalist, an antisemite, and anti-zionist at the time. However, deep inside my heart I felt it is way too wrong for being regarded that it as the one true faith. Many things I asked to criticize the teachings were ended to dissatisfaction or even humiliation as the potential infidel, but at the end I just go on with it. The discussion chamber is prohibitedly open. But when I begin to enroll the not-so-secular National Senior High School, things were about to change.
The new people that I met in the school were came from diverse backgrounds and faiths yet with domination of Islamic atmosphere throughout the school. The students were obliged to wear Islamic attire on Friday as the uniform regardless of the diversity of the students. Even so, I could begin to smell and taste of somewhat freedom of speech. At the first year of my study, I started to learn about Abrahamic religions, Dharmic religions from school and later I search it further at home. I felt my perspective since then was broadened and enlightened. I saw from a very different perspective about G-d’s personifications from the other faiths. I want to know about all of these new things even more. I began to loosen up my religious practices even though still being haunted by the threat of some kind of bad karma that will leads you to Hell, thanks to the indoctrinization back on junior high school. I tried to observe those faith to find which one are really suits to me.
Entering my second year I started to suffer a religious crises within my soul. I felt that my relationship to G-d was loosen and even seems cutted off. I was failed to found comfort place. I began to stop believing  in anything, and even stop believing in G-d existence. The world as I saw at the time was only a logical world. I regarded all religions in this world are nonsense at all. I always criticized every lessons I had from my Islam teachers about everything they taught. But only a few answers were seems to be logic enough for me or seems humane enough. I went through the hollow time with so much pain on my heart. I often cried without reasons in my own room like my little heart resist and struggle to find the best and suitable way for me.
Later on my third year I begin my religious searching again once more. I opened my old American encyclopaedia that my grandfather left for me after he died and then I saw the entries about Jews and Judaism. There I try to read and learn what it explains about. I felt somehow moved by each stories, ethics, perspectives, and Biblical passages in Hebrew with its transliteration and translation printed on it. I read a story about how loyal dan generous the Biblical Ruth that chose to stay with her mother-in-law Naomi to be as one nation of Israel even though his husband was already died. It just felt like my heart was finally called by those passages. After I read the whole entries, I was felt like I’ve got involved in all of their miraculous adventure, dynamical life, unique traditions, and survival stories throughout the history of humankind ever recorded since the time of Abraham to the days of the present State of Israel and G-d seems to call me to follow this path. It made me so trilled and amazed that I learn something new that is very opposite to my knowlegde through the past indoctrinization and the stigm that rooted in my surroundings. Start from there, I chose to follow and deepen Judaism as my faith.
The first time I try to live my life with Judaism is quite hard. There’s no reliable sources of Judaic themes in book format or even website that I could found at the time in Indonesian, or even a Rabbi. I began to search and learn about Jewishness and Judaism in English through the internet’s help. I read and learn a lot from Wikipedia and other Jewish websites. I somehow don’t know where to start until I found a website that helps me to learn the general teachings systematically. I started to memorize the Hebrew alphabet and all the linguistical functions so that I’ll be able to read and write in Hebrew or to recite the Torah. I bought a bilingual Indonesian-Hebrew Bible from a Christian Bible store and starts to read in two languages simultanoeusly. I learn how to maintain my daily diet in a Kosher way even though it’s hard to apply where there is no Kosher store available and the Indonesian cuisine that contains often with shrimp products. I begin to understand the connection between a single Jew to the whole Jews throughout the world, that they’re being responsible to one another. I’m turning from fundamentalist to become liberal and my antisemitical and anti-zionistical prespectives soon perishes. I’m no longer being fanatic to my faith and sees the world from very different and positive perspective such as how the people created as G-d’s perfect image from the one same ancestor with their own different task in this world.
Entering my campus life, I felt a tremendous freedom soon after I moved into a personal rentroom nearby my campus. I realized that now I live quite far from my family an I’m now responsible for myself and for my deeds. As the only state university using the name of the country, it accepts students from diversed backgrounds accross Indonesia. I’m enjoyed the multicultural vibe and the openness to new things. As my faculty based on humanities study, there are so many open-minded people in my faculty. However, there are still some narrow-minded, antisemitic and anti-zionist people whose enrolled to the faculty. Those are my own study partner. I tried patiently explains about Jews and Judaism but they don’t and wouldn’t accept or even understand, only a few who did. Later, they act different towards me and jugde me everything I do and say negatively just because something personal that I’ve choosed. I struggled with the condition no matter how hard it was.
I felt lucky at the moment joining a Catholic community in the faculty for the reason of my own safety. I’m quite amazed that they sweared to protect me from any harmful racial-hatred threads that may come against me in the future. I was grateful that I joined them because they accept me unconditionally although I committed to my Jewishness and not trying to proselytize me at all. I thanked to them and all of my best friends that I found in my campus life who accept me as the way I am till present days. At the time, I celebrate my own Jewish holidays, perform a prayers and blessings by my own self, follow a Hebrew class on campus, give an discussions about Zionism and what actually happened in Israel from Jewish and Israeli perspective, and all of things that could help me to understand Jewishness and Judaism even more. I realized as a part of the People of the Books, the journey to study and share the knowlegde about anything is endless till the death comes.
As a lone “Jew”, I do need to join a Jewish community or maybe just meet them in person in order to help to conduct and perform any Jewish traditions. The search for the community were the toughest test for me because here the Jewish community tend to be a hidden community. I have to search it from the first year on college for a year long via internet, facebook, etc. After a tiring year of searching I found someone who are Jewish and directly open a conversation with him. I ask anything about the community and ask to join the community. I have to wait for another half year to be allowed by the Rabbis to attend a Jewish festival that would be my first encounters to the Indonesian Jewish community.
It was on Hanukkah in 2011 that I attend my first gathering of Jewish people and it’s descendants in Indonesia. It was held in Bekasi, in the east side of Jakarta. The people were accepted me warmthly and I felt like I just found my new family. I sense the strong Jewish atmosphere in that event from the Ashkenazic music and the food. It was the first time I lit my Hanukkah candle in my entire life and it’s quite emotional for me. They’re interested with my background and accept me as a long gone brother.
From that moment, I’ve made my commitment to my self that I will go further and deepen my Judaic study and to get involved and help as many as I can to the community. I often asked to be the liturgical singer in every Jewish festivals and learn how to pronounce Hebrew more precise and fluently from there. I try to learn and memorize the Jewish daily prayer in every Shabbat meeting and how to do the full Shabbat rituals. I try to maintain my Kosher diet daily since 2 years ago and still keep on going with it.
I realized that study of Judaism is a lifetime journey. I wouldn’t mastering all of Jewish teaching by only followed this conversion class or every Shabbat occasions but through lifetime dedications of continuous study. I’m not into the ultra-religious person because for me by have a perfect faith in L-rd our G-d, doing good, be the “light” to the other people, and repair the world started from a tiny scale already makes you a good Jew. People change every moment and I try to change to be better than ever through Jewish ideas and thoughts

#3. Final Essay

1.     Describe the factor which have drawn you to Judaism.,
I had a moslem arab descendant father, Mohammed , working as Indonesian soldier. He passed away when I was a baby, so I was raised by my chinese mother, as a christian until I learnt about the history of Israel and Tanach (Old Testament)
Since I was a child, I was interested to everything in connection to with Israel, even though I saw Israel with Christian perspective. I had that spirit and continue keeping it until today. I don’t know why ??. I feel alive when I am think and talk about Israel or God’s promise to Israel. So What God do to Israel and Israel itself become the spirit of my life. Looking Israel everyday just like looking God’s existence in this world, there is no others god only God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. I believe Him. Until I met Benjamin Meijer in 2007, I learnt Torah from Jewish prespective. I start to undestand the concept of Monotheism, Adonai Echad, and from Benjamin I learnt that Jewish people have their own destiny, and HaShem will never cancell His everlasting convenant to Jewish people. I am keen to join Jewish community, and understood that Judaism is having different concepts with christianity, and therefore I decided to take a serious basic judaism class under Benjamin mentor, and at last i decided to convert.


4. Conversion to Judaism Course - Essay

By Elisheva
I was raised in Germany where my father, a secular man of Jewish roots, was based for work. He travelled most of each year to western European countries and had to always leave us in Germany where my sister and I went to school. My mother took us to church and raised us as Christians, complete with the Christmas, Easter and all the pagan celebrations attached to them. But my father forbid her to baptise us until we were old enough to decide ourselves which G-d we would want to follow. Even when we returned home to Indonesia, we stopped celebrating Christmas and Easter and all those holidays altogether in the house. I don’t remember my dad ever forbade us to keep doing it, but we just stopped completely, for no apparent reason. Today I believe, it was G-d Himself that protected us and kept us as pure as possible. We even never had pork on our dining table. My mom never prepared it.
I had always felt the guidance of a Higher Being. I always knew it was G-d, although I did not know Him. When I was younger I had the tendency of being obsessive compulsive and unable to cope with imperfection. But there was a period in my life in Germany where I felt or heard a Voice in me that taught me it was ok if things were not perfect. It was then that I loosened up and am now much more tolerant of a messy house or room. There are many times in my life where He would step in and change things in me and my life like that. I didn’t know the G-d that was always there for me. At the time, I thought I knew Him, but little did I realize how wrong I was back then. However, I am grateful that in a very young age, I was given the privilege of having a personal connection with Him. He allowed me to experience Him, although I didn’t know who He really was. This is and has always been the nature of my own relationship with G-d. (Question 4)
It was the same Voice in my childhood that led me to know the G-d of Israel. When I grew older, I was a Bible teacher to my fellow uni students and to the younger people in church. One day, I was reading the Torah in English and noticed that the commandment to keep the Shabbat holy was repeated many times. Even in the books of the prophets it was repeated over and over again. When I looked up, my eyes were away from the Book, I felt as if the Shekinah (I didn’t know what it was back then) was there in the room and expected me to ask the urgent question I had in my head that night. It was as if He knew already what my question was, but excitedly waited for me to spill it out. Knowing, that I was expected to ask, I shot the question... well, I actually mumbled it to myself and hoped that He heard, “Why is keeping the Shabbat holy so important that You had to repeat it all over the Tanakh?” The next morning, I found a video on Youtube that explained the importance and beauty of the Shabbat, and I fell in love with the G-d of the Shabbat. Shabbat was the first factor that drew me back to Judaism. (Question 1)
This was the beginning of a long journey towards the Truth. I immediately looked for places where people would gather on Shabbat and worship. I ended up in different congregations that were not Jewish. None of them clicked in my heart or spirit. Something was always missing and at the time, I didn’t know what it was. This was the time when G-d led me to Yokhanan. He is a Jewish descendant from the colonial times just as my family. Coincidentally he lived just next to our housing complex, only 10 minutes walk from our home. He and his wife  gave us a visit and at home, he shared a little bit of the beauty of the Torah. My sister and I were so stunned and amazed. It was this visit that caused us to gather in their home every Shabbat for sacharit!
Ever since then, my sister and I have tried to always keep the Shabbat holy, do the Kiddush during erev Shabbat, pray during Shabbat sacharit with fellow Jewish descendants, and even learning to be discipline in doing my daily prayers, and all the birkat. As for eating kosher, we have started doing this long before my journey back to Judaism actually began. But now as I learn even more, I try to be more observant regarding food. To me, this is not about law or keeping up with the Jewish lifestyle. This is about chasing G-d. So whatever it takes to understand His heart, I’ll do it. And I will keep “improving” my observance for the rest of my life. (Question 7)
The more I study the Torah and observe the mitzvoth, the more my life changes, not only because of the Jewish tradition that is now present in my life. But also because G-d has opened up more and more doors for me. It was almost immediately that I decided to fully learn to observe the Torah, that my whole outlook on life changed, and the direction of my life changed as well, along with the new doors that He opens up for me to enter. It is almost as if the blessing just flows in immediately after committing to follow His path. (Question 5)
During my journey back to the Truth, I found out that what I have believed and taught to my fellow uni students and young adults in church are wrong and all conspired lies. Jesus Christ never existed. He is a fake figure that the Greeks created with all the lies and made up attributes of a Greek messiah. If we add all the details (date of birth, death, religion, etc) of Jesus Christ in a huge history search engine that could look up people with specific details since the world was created, I am 100% sure that the search will come up with an error message saying, “NOT FOUND. THE PERSON YOU ARE SEARCHING NEVER EXISTED.”
If you asked me if Jesus Christ was the Messiah or G-d, I would answer, “The question is irrelevant with historical facts. How can somebody, who never existed, be the Messiah or G-d? It’s like asking if Superman was the long-awaited anointed one from HaShem.”
The Christians would insist that Jesus Christ is the same as Yeshua from Nazareth. But Yeshua taught his followers to keep the Torah, celebrated Hanukkah and all the Feasts of Israel. Yeshua did not create a new religion. He told healed lepers to go through the rituals as Moses’ had taught in order to be declared tahor, and he himself kept kashrut. He even taught his followers that there is only One God (Adonai Echad) and that the most important mitzvoth is the whole of Shema. HaShem is everything, and not worshipping a god in human form. While Christian makes Jesus everything, replacing the true G-d’s position. Obviously the Christians are not his followers. Who knows who they are really following. When I studied more and more, I learned the “anti-Christ” that the Christians are so afraid of is really the “Jesus Christ” himself. I will not elaborate on this further. This is only to make a point that I found out how my former religion was teaching nothing but a bunch of Greek-conspired lies. I decide to embrace Judiasm as the concepts of G-d – Monotheism really satisfied me, and then I decide not to believe any other bible besides the perfect Torah/Tanach. (Question 3)
Then I remember all the souls out there that I taught wrong. I am now sharing the Torah and the Truth to the Christians through my writings. Together with our Kehilat, I also share the Torah through radio talk show programs. By doing this, I force myself to study more and more about the Torah, and all the mitzvoth and tradition. Not only for my own sake but also for the sake of others. The more I study, the more I can share, the more I observe the law, and the more I understand G-d. Rabbis don’t need to force me to continue to studies in Judaism. My spirit is all fired up to do just that, in the hopes that through my observant life, I can love G-d more and impact others in the process. (Question 8)
The reason for sharing the Torah is because I am a big believer of the Jewish value Tikkun Olam. The Tikkun Olam basically means to repair the world. The goal of such repair is to separate what is holy from the created world and causing all things return to a world before disaster under One G-d and before human sin, thus ending history. I believe that although we can probably never come to perfection in the process of Tikkun Olam, it is the calling and sacred mission of the Jews to start doing so. While the nations are still worshiping idols and g-ds other than the One True G-d of Abraham, the process of Tikkun Olam can never be perfected. Thus, my sharing of the Torah and my dream of becoming light to the nations. (Question 2)
However, I also believe that unless the Jewish world can put aside their ego in order to unite with one another in love for the sake of G-d and the sake of the world, Tikkun Olam can never progress far. I know one day the Moshiach will come to finish it once and for all, but it is also our duty and call to do continue this process that our forefathers have started. I see myself as one tiny piece of one shattered “man” with the nefesh yehudi we are all made of. Jews wherever they are has a part of me in them and theirs in me. As my Jewish brethren, I too am (partly) made from the soil of Israel and therefore it is my home. And it just saddens me when disunity causes converts like me be hated by some Jewish groups. Until we can actually unite and see us all as one, we can never achieve the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam. It will all be just a utopian idea and an unrealistic value of our Jewish faith.


Family : ( Amram)
1.     Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
Since I was away from Jewish community and my father as a Jewish community leader in Central java, and moved to Bandung, I have been involved mostly with christian friends. Yes christian is a good religion to make people to be good and religious people, however, I would never believe G-d in Trinity. In my heart and my experience, I only know that I have YHWH as the MonoTheism. Since I met Reb Benjamin whose mother side originally from Jewish family in Rotterdan and Belgium, I reliazed that I only belong  to Jewish community and only adopt Jewish Belief. The conversion program allowed me to study back my jewish rootts and theology

#6 Final Essay
Banayahu (

1.     Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
Since I know I have my jewish root from Yisrael family (Van Praag), I know from my heart I have to go back to my jewish roots and faith. I dont find Christian is a jewish religion. I only believe Adonai Echad, and HaShem is the true living G-d of Israel, who created everything and chose Israel as the chosen nation.

#7 (Ferry

 ( Fonny

1.     Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
I know that I am jewish, therefore I have to go back to my jewish roots anf belief. Conversion allowed me to study the basic theology for judaism, and allow me to observe Torah and practice the jewish rites.I realize that in Judaism I have the correct concept of G-d, who is totally different   with gods of other nations.
My Journey to Jerusalem[1]

An essay by Abigail

Since a time I can’t remember and for reasons I can’t explain, I have been drawn to Judaism and the Jewish people. It was only in my adult years that my sister discovered our Jewish roots through our father (his grandmother was a Dutch Jew who came during the colonization), and suddenly this unexplainable feeling made sense. This discovery, however, was not the first and certainly not the only trigger which started my adventurous journey to Judaism. This is my story.

I was born into a mixed religion family. My father is a Muslim and my mother a (Presbyterian) Christian. As a prerequisite of marrying a non-Christian, my mother was asked to raise her children in the Christian faith. However, my sister and I were not baptized as babies; my parents both decided it would be something we would have to choose to do ourselves.

We grew up celebrating Christmas, Easter and other pagan holidays associated with Christianity while we lived in Germany. When we moved back to Indonesia, we stopped celebrating it at home, although we (my mother, my sister and I) would still go to church during those times. The reason we stopped putting up Christmas trees and exchanging gifts was mainly because there was just not the same celebratory atmosphere for Christian holidays, as Indonesia’s population is predominantly Muslim. But I do believe things happen for a deeper spiritual reason which we may not understand immediately.

The existence of G-d has never been something I doubted and debated on. Just as I know I have brains although I have never even seen it, I know in my heart there is a greater power out there watching us. But it was only when I was in university that I came ‘face to face’ with my Maker.
My sister, Elisheva the zealous truth-seeker, was the one who first introduced me to the G-d with a personality, to whom I can actually talk, and One who actually listens to and cares about what I have to say. Ever since then, I have consulted Him in every major, and gradually minor, decisions in my life – although I must admit I have not always been very good at following through with it. However, I have felt and noticed that the more I follow through with G-d’s will, the greater His divine intervention was when doors seem to close on me.
One example is my divorce. Even before I got married, I knew it was a mistake, as my future groom did not believe in G-d and we have had many disagreements about philosophical and practical matters because of it. But I caved in to peer and social pressure that I went ahead with it anyway. After being married for two years, it came to a point where the relationship hindered my spiritual development. Everything I did in relation to my belief was frowned upon and I felt depressed for not being able to be myself. I wasn’t able to freely worship and serve the G-d I believed in. It was then that I decided I needed to break free, and I knew that I had G-d’s support to do so, as my relationship with Him had almost been non-existent since the wedding.
So I filed for a divorce, which you would think is a simple process, but in this corruption ridden country, it is not
My understand-ing of and relationship to G-d (Q.4)
My journey to find the truth which led me to Judaism was certainly a long one; going through Catholicism in primary and secondary school, Calvinism in university and finally the charismatic movement in my adult years. What was special about it is that it was as if I was led on that path, being pushed away from one place and pulled towards another through discoveries after discoveries of truths, eventually leading me to where I am now.
Most of the truth revealed to me came from my sister, who is much more of a ‘researcher’ than I ever was. Some came from a pastor of our ‘sister-church’ which is well known to promote the movement to ‘go back to the Hebrew roots’. I believe that wherever truth came from, G-d was trying to pull me to Him, the true and living G-d of Israel. All of these discoveries finally led me away from Christianity towards Judaism; realizing that Judaism is the one faith that actually believes in the true and living G-d of Israel in His pure and raw essence, without the adornments of Christmas trees and Easter eggs.

Only after the divorce was I able to continue my spiritual journey. Back then, my sister and I were involved in a church planting, whose mission was to go back to the truth in the Bible and spreading it, which also means re-introducing the Torah, debunking the myth of ‘Jesus’ and so on. We came as far as introducing the festival of Chanukah to the church members, and introducing how the Torah has not really been abolished. Then we got stuck there, and we finally felt it was time to move on and continue our journey to find the true G-d. Little did we know that this path would lead us to Judaism where at last I discover the true concept of Monotheism, the true Bible-Torah and Israel/Jewish people as the chosen people.
How I was drawn to Judaism (Q.1)

The most appealing and persuasive Jewish values(Q.2) and how Judaism is more appropriate for me (Q.3)
Over the years, I continued to pursue a relationship with the true and living G-d of Israel. Most importantly, I practice what I have come to believe in, such as keeping kosher, participate in Jewish festivals and keeping the Shabbat.
Keeping kosher was actually something that I have started even before my journey into Judaism began. During the church planting period, we realized that the Leviticus food restrictions were never abolished. Although I was not fully aware of the detailed instructions, I started with what was most obvious: refraining from eating pork. (This was one of the disagreements on practical issues between my ex-husband and me, because as a Dane, he loved his pork.)
To date, I have learned and strive to learn more about keeping kosher, and intend to share this with a wider audience. I am passionate about food, I love cooking (and eating!) and have discovered that my calling involves introducing kashrut to non-Jews, mainly as part of the effort to spread the truth (and debunk the myth) about Torah. For that, I will continue to learn about the underlying reasons for the food restrictions. I believe that all commandments, including those on food, have not only physical but also spiritual implications.
Shabbat has now become a regular part of our weekly routine. Even more, I have taken interest in leading the service alongside Rabbi as a cantor, and am currently learning the melodies to the Shabbat prayers. When presented with the opportunity, I would not think twice to officially learn at a cantorial school. But for now I make do with the vast online resources and the help of our local community leader.
During Shabbat we often share among us what we have learned about each of our specific interests, as well as the daily routine such as the daily prayers. This way we learn and grow together, and at the same time nourish a sense of community based on our shared belief. Although we do have plans to study Hebrew together, I also plan to do it on my own.
There are also so many other things on Judaism I would like to learn about. Right now I follow the weekly Parsha and read from various online resources such as the Chabad website, which has become one of my main sources when seeking answers to spiritual and practical questions.
My commitment to prayer, Shabbat and keeping kosher (Q.7)

My plan to continue my Jewish study (Q.8)
Family wise, our lives has also been impacted positively by my embracing the Jewish faith. Ever since my sister and I started to observe the Shabbat, my mother started to take interest in what we do, and now she also partakes in the Erev Shabbat prayers. My father has not joined yet but I am confident that he will, in G-d’s time. Since we have returned to our Jewish roots, the Jewish festivals are actually the one time that we all celebrate together as a family. Before, each of our family members would go about their own business during the Christian and Muslim holiday, but now on Jewish festivals, we are united as one when we celebrate with our local Jewish community. 
How my personal and home life has changed because of Jewish tradition (Q.5)
Leading a Jewish life in a place with minimum number of peers within the local congregation has proven to be a challenge. Of course it helps to know that we are not alone, and that we share a bond with the rest of the Jewish community in the world. The uniqueness of Judaism that I have learned and witnessed is that it is not only a faith in G-d but it is also a peoplehood which unites its members just as one is united with his fellow countrymen. I have seen how our local community leaders have been mentored by Rabbis from all over the world in various issues; this conversion process is just one example. This sense of belonging and fellowship is something I have never found before in my previous religion, and it certainly helps shape my identification with the world Jewry.
The congregation now is a second home to me, and I consider the Jewish community members as my family. I know I speak for everyone when I say that I long to return to Israel, but I believe all will happen in G-d’s time and only on His term. I would not want it any other way.
My sense of identification … (Q.6)
After such long journey towards Judaism, I decided it was time to ‘make it official’ and convert; although I know the Indonesian state would never acknowledge my new religion. Despite of this fact, I feel that it is an important step for me in my journey with God, as a token of my personal commitment.

#10 1. Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
            The first factor that changed my religious point of view was the real name of God. I found out that the name of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was not “Allah”. Then after renouncing that name, God led me to a further path. I learnt that there are many wrong practices/ doctrines in Indonesian Christianity. The other factor that have drawn me to Judaism was the logical thinking that If Jesus was a Jew, combination from Levi and Yehuda, then he would have been ultra-orthodox then the common orthodox Jew. For all the reason I stated above I was drawn and embrace Judaism as my religious choice.            

Final Essay

Yishai Yonatan

1.   Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
Am aware that I have jewish blood, therefore, i have the oppurtunity to go back to my jewish roots and belief. After i learnt other religions, including christian bibles, I have only the satisfying answers from Torah. Jews remain chosen nation forever, with everlasting covenant. Therefore I dont want to believe other bible and belief, except Torah and Judaism
2.    Conversion to Judaism Course


1 ) Hashem always had a plan in the life of every human being . I was never at all terbesit to be a Jew , because I was born to Muslim families , my Catholic school environment and eventually moved to Islamic schools , Muslim neighborhood where I live , and I am running the proper rituals of Muslims .
all started around 3tahun ago . that time my mother and father wanted a divorce , and because of the situation my father told about his life growing up without both parents due to divorce , amid stories that my father told about his family and my dad said that my grandmother was a German Jewish descent named Frieda Alex Friedmann who became a Catholic using the Baptist name Maria , because the state of Japan's anti-Semitic . My father said that many Japanese brother arrested .
I was very surprised at the fact that I was a Jew papah , but somehow there is a sense of pride in myself with the fact that I was Jewish . from there I searched and learned what it is Judaism , Jews and the Torah from the Internet .
I saw that in Jewish life , are all based on the Tanakh , and not only save the Tanakh how we confront Hashem , but Tanakh memyimpan all aspects of human life . only in all aspects of Jewish life organized so well that being Jewish is something special , and another darpada be different , and I feel this is what I was looking for and no longing in your heart to be a Jew , my grandmother continued Jewish roots were severed . other than that I see that Hashem gave me and ease my way back to Jewish roots . I finally confronted by the Jews in Indonesia , incidentally, I met by the son of Rabbi Benjamin Meijer , ie Avraham , finally I was invited to join the Jewish community in Indonesia , I was given facilities like kippah and siddur . at that time I started doing Daven in my own way . after that I know tzitzit , because I do not have the money to buy a tallit katan Kosher , finally I made
​​it myself by looking on the Internet , no matter Kosher or not , but I made ​​it using a heart so longs to Hashem . I mencarj for my identity , I do not find it difficult at all , san for me this is proof that Hashem wanted to make us ( Jews ) have a good impact , and a Shalom in this country , and Hashem has called me to do that .


Essay Conversion to Judaism Class

1.     Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
The factor which have drawn me to Judaism:  Is first I want to get back to my root and in Judaism there are many factors that I found suitable for me and I found peace in it. I like the fact that in Judaism is a monotheistic faith, meaning that Jews believe there is only One God and Judaism believes that Jews are uniquely connected with each other. Regardless of where we live in the world, all Jews are part of a global Jewish community.
#17 Final Essay
Avshalom ()
Hadassah (
1. Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
Because I am a Jewish descent, and feel it is necessary to re-connect to my Hebrew roots. After all there are so many of my questions about God that can’t be missed since I was a child, which in turn step by step can be answered since I started studying Judaism.

2. Which Jewish values do you find most appealing and persuasive?
For me, all Jewish values ​​very well. But among all of them, I chose Tsedeh Tsedek Tirdof = Pursue justice / the obligation to actively promote justice.

6. Describe your sense of identification with the Jewish people in relation to Israel , world Jewry, the local Jewish community and your synagogue.
I feel there is such a strong bond between me and the Jews, Jewish descent and I am longing to be united with fellow Jewish brethren. I wish I could go back to the promised land. In addition, I yearn for peace in the land of Yisrael. A joy for me to be included in the Jewish world, gathered in the local Jewish community, and to worship together in the Synagogue.

7. What is your commitment to prayer, Shabbat and keeping kosher?
I am committed to pray in accordance with customary Jewish tradition, Shabbat and maintain kosher life as HASHEM commanded in His Torah.

8. How do you plan to continue your Jewish study?
I hope to be able to constantly learn more and more about Judaism, either through the local Jewish community, read books that relate with Judaism, and even b'ezrat HASHEM to study in a Jewish religious school.


Noakh (Victor
Rachel (Ingrid

1.     Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism
As many christian theologians abused Torah, I was so keen to learn it directly, especially I was realaized my jewish root from my father.  More and more I studied it I discovered that Torah was the perfect bible, and Jewish destiny was different from other nations and religions. When I saw my parents and brothers/sisters started to practice Judaism, I was so happy to join together with them

#21. Conversion to Judaism Course


Returning to the Truth

Any single human being is the creation of The Creator. Somehow, mankind has been seeking to on the one hand find the Creator, and build up any image of the creator on the other hand. The world seems to prove that God exists. This has been bringing forth a very great fact that the earth is filled today with most of those who believe that the earth and universe were created and arranged by the hands of the Creator. Among those who believe that they have true creator, Christians is the one who seem to make sure absolutely that their Lord is truly the Supreme Lord who creates universe. I myself have lived my life as a Christian who held strongly the church’s teachings. The teaching that has brought me to a very deep hole, as I found out that the Christians believe in three Divine Beings/Trinity. This is very shocking and actually this is not in line with Torah. This is the basic reason for me to draw into Judaism.    
Going further, I found that my previous faith has actually is not truly Jewish faith. For me Jewish has a very sincere and strong obedience to God. For thousands of years Jewish have never changed. They still believe in The One and Only God. Torah commands: Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad. I believe this is the most appealing and persuasive value that the Jewish people have been living in. 
Judaism is the most appropriate religion for all Jacob’s descendants. This religion goes along with God’s will. As I have mentioned above that Israel have been worshipping the One and Only God, that this faith resonances in my soul for many years. My previous religion has deeply failed to meet the commandments.  
I myself have no personal understanding of God. I dare not to understand. I simply obey what Torah teaches us to. God is One Single Being. God does not reincarnate as Christians believe. God is the King of Kings who enthrone in Heaven. HE has the authority over anything as HE creates anything. God does not have to save mankind by letting Himself being put to death on the cross. God is the power and source of everything. HE does not push us to receive Him as the savior, for He himself is the Saviour. This is truly contradictory to Christian belief as they have been pushing people to accept Jesus as the savior and God. This is the reason I left this previous religion, and hold Judaism.  
The Jewish tradition gives me many great impacts, and helps me live my life as an obedient person. One great thing that I have enjoyed is the reconnecting to God’s promise to Avraham through circumcision. I have been longing to have this commandment yet I never had any possibility to being circumcised. Yet, as I decided to hold Jewish belief I had the chance to be circumcised. This is great for me as I have obeyed what God commands me to. I felt necessary to declare here that I am one of the most blissful men on earth for I have obeyed what God demands me to. After being circumcised, I felt like a very hard burden has been taken away from my shoulders, a kind of feeling so free. Continuing my life as a new convert, I believe that God will lead me every single second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year through all my life. I believe that hands of God will hold my future, and the future that I shall enter in will be the brighter future than the days I have spent before. 
Among millions of people, there are many who hurl their curse for Israel. They curse because they hate. They hate because they do not obey the commandments. I have seen Christians hurl their curse for Israel when Israel has to fight Palestinians or other Arab countries. They claim that Israel grab the land. On the other hand, I always pray for Israel. As I am aware of, I always pray for Israel: her people, her government, her intelligent/spies, armed forces, police, and citizens. This might sound crazy to many people, but for me that is love. A stronger love to eretz Yisrael which deriving from love to The Lord of Israel. Further, I am sure that with the strong love to Israel I can bear a sincere feeling to have a good relationship with Jewish people around the world. On the same love, I shall keep my faith purely by gathering with Jewish community and if there has been any synagogue in my area, Shabbat and all festivals are in absolute observance. I believe starting with a sincere feeling to love Israel I will surely be able to maintain warmly strong Jewish relationship. 
Prayer is Jewish breath. That praising God regularly and humbly is a life to me. I believe morning, afternoon, and evening prayers are part of Jewish life that I should keep to become a true Jewish man. Further, Shabbat is an obligation, a sincere obligation. It is a commandment that I should remember Shabbat and keep it holy by observing it fully. Shabbat is a day of joy and rest. I can enjoy better rest than the other days, and I can enjoy heavenly happiness through enjoying Shabbat.  Those who obey Torah will always keep kashrut. Taking care life of being kosher is a part of good observant. I have been observing to studying and performing kosher life. Living a kosher life is a bless as well.
Last but not least, if any person asks me how I continue my Jewish study, I shall respond by saying that there are Rabbis that I should consult to. There are books I should learn. There are traditions I should maintain. There are festivals I should observe. Studying Judaism is not short time learning, yet it has become lifetime learning for me. There are myriads of Jewish lessons I should study therefore, a lifetime study is necessary. To conclude this paragraph I may state that I shall always consult Reb Ben for a better learning. Barukh HaShem.
 Essay for Conversion Candidacy
The paper is to address the following questions. There is no prescribed length; just answer each question thoroughly.
1.     Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism.
I was the older brother of Benny (Benjamin) , i was raised as a moslem following my father no matter my mother was jewish. I did not talk so much with my younger brother Benny since he decided to be a good christian when I was 17 years old till 2011.
Suddenly I was amazed to see my younger brother’s life. He changed so drastically from Christian into a monotheism belief. When I saw his pic being ordained as the community spiritual leader in sukkot 2011, i started to discuss with him about religions. I was very amazed that kosher food is not halal foods. When we discussed about Christian Bibles, my brother benny said he only believed that Torah was the perfect bible, no other bible as perfection. My heart was really touched when he said that because I was mentored that Al Quran was the perfection of Torah and Gospels.
The more surprise was that he took me to his praying room (home synagogue) next to his office room, and after he wore tallit kattan, he showed me the Torah by saying “this is our family Torah, HaShem shows His presence in Indonesia through this family Torah”
When I touched the Torah, I was so moved, and after that,  that Torah was always in my memory even in my dream. I heard in my heart saying like this “Do you want the Truth?, this is the Truth, you will be saved by it ” The HAND pointed to my brother’s Torah.
Then I had a dream that a cloud pillar stopped exactly on the top of a big tent (Tabernacle), where several small tents were surrounding it. I learnt from my brother it was Tabernacle of Moshe on dessert, and he expalined what he understood about that vision.
When my brother inivited me to study basic Judaism in conversion class, I was so happy that I learnt many things. I decided to stop reciting 2 syahada, and stopped my shollats. Even my wife is not ready, I know that I have to go back to my jewish roots and faiths. That’s why I take the conversion class.

2.      Which Jewish values do you find most appealing and persuasive?
Or Le Goyim and Tikkun Olam, the duty of a jew is to share Torah, to bring shalom to all nations and bring mosiach to the world. I dont have to wait until mosiach come to heal the world as i can bring him now with my profession as a doctor.

3.     How is Judaism more appropriate for you than your former religion or worldview/lifestyle?
I find Judaism is the oldest semitic religion before Christian and Moslem. I learn from Jewish bibles, that the chosen nation is israel, the prophets must havecome from Israel. Ismail was not the covenant son from Avraham, another prophet from Arab to make perfection on Torah is realy non sense. With Judaism, I know I have had very aunthentic belief.


#29 Conversion to Judaism Course          
Kel: Reginald  

Essay for Conversion Candidacy
The paper is to address the following questions. There is no prescribed length; just answer each question thoroughly.
1.      Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism. After the religion and tribe war in Maluku/Ternate  1999, we decided to run to Menado. The issues of Israel suddenly became the spirit of maluku people with christian background to learn back their jewish roots. I decided to study Torah and Tanach, and tried to understand the jewish history, jewish terms from Ensikopedia/dictionaries, and leanr hebrew. After my visit to Israel, I discovered the true living G-d to worship is HaShem, no other gods in human form.

Here is one written in Indonesian just so you can see what it looks like. Many of the essay were translated by Benny and others from Indonesian.
Essay for Conversion Candidacy / Risalah untuk Pengajuan Konversi
The paper is to address the following questions. There is no prescribed length; just answer each question thoroughly.
Risalah ini bertujuan untuk menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan berikut ini. Tidak ada ketentuan mengenai panjang uraian, namun jawablah setiap pertanyaan secara menyeluruh.
1.      Describe the factors which have drawn you to Judaism. Jelaskan faktor-faktor yang menarik Anda kepada kepercayaan Yahudi.
1.      Sebelum menganut judaisme saya seorang pendeta dan gembala sidang disalah satu gereja dimanado,saya mengecap pendidikan lulus strata 1 bidang theologi kristen,setelah belajar dalam pendidikan kristen itu,saya baru mengerti bahwa apa yang saya dan keluarga praktekkan dlm kehidupan sehari hari salah atau di luar ketetapan Tuhan yang tertulis di dalam tanach,maka sejak itu tahun 2003 dengan diam diam saya mempraktekkan judaisme bersama keluarga saya dengan bermodalkan pelajaran pelajaran yang saya ambil dari situs orthodox chabat di internet.sampai pada suatu waktu saya di skors sebanyak 2 kali selama 4 tahun  oleh gereja saya untuk tdk bisa lagi melayani digereja dimana saya melayani,karena disamping mempraktekkan judaisme saya juga mengajarkan kepada jemaat saya untuk mempraktekkan judaisme.satu tahun kemudian yaitu pada tahun 2004 saya mendirikan suatu komunitas lokal yang terdiri dari 6 orang keturunan yahudi sephardic maranos dan menamakan komunitas itu kehillah yudaisme manado dan dengan berjalannya waktu beberapa orang keturunan yahudi yang ada dimanado ikut juga bergabung,dan sampai akhirnya pada akhir tahun 2010 melalui jejaring facebook saya ketemu Rabbi Benyamin Verbrugge dan ibu marlina van der stoop maka saya diajak untuk membentuk suatu komunitas yahudi indonesia yaitu UIJC dan meminta Rabbi Benyamin agar dapat memimpin kami dan mengarahkan kami setelah 7 tahun kami berdoa agar Tuhan memberikan kami pemimpin.saya bergabung bersama mereka dan Rabbi Benyamin banyak sekali membantu kami dan sampai kami di conversi.

     One of the highlights of the experience for us was the Shabbat we spent after the conversions with the Jakarta group. Friday night we met in the second floor of a restraint in the heart of Jakarta, had kabbalat shabbat, lit candles, Kiddush, challah, sand Shabbat songs and ate Shabbat dinner. The singing was incredibly enthusiastic and the group clearly knew many of the Shabbat songs and prayers, as well as birkat hamazone. Shabbat morning we met a member’s home who hosts services now weekly but is bulding a synagogue in Jakarta for the group in his office building. The service was led by the group lay leader and a young woman who had a beautiful voice and totally fluent with the davening. I asked her where she learned the nusach and she told me she downloaded the melodies from a synagogue in New York. Benny layned in Sephardic trop because it was a Sephardi torah but said he also can lain in ashkenazic trop. They have been davening together for years, living as Jews until now, their first oficial Shabbat as Jews. After services Rabbi Peskind and I gave divrei torah and then answered questions for an hour, followed by lunch. We spent all day there and finished with seudat shelishit and havdalah. We sat around for melaveh malkah and sang and sang. No one wanted to leave. Unbelievable.

              Gold Medal Awarded Long Distance/Online Conversion to Judaism Program   

email rabbi@jconversion.org  847.331.3584 (Mobile) 


for additional information, see www.converttojudaism.net
email judaism36@gmail.com for  the enrollment form
call 847 331 3584 with questions or outside USA use skype number 1-847-868-3599

Some questions: 

Some Rabbis want you to wait years. Our program is 12 sessions which we recommend you pace yourself to one session a week and then can convert after. For two thousand years there have been lenient and harsh schools of Jewish thought on conversion. We want to ENCOURAGE conversion for sincere individuals. If you can complete a session a week, it takes 4 months. Some finish faster, most take longer. It obviously depends on your time, discipline, background, etc. We are always available to help via phone, skype, email.

Can you convert to judaism for marriage
Yes as long as by the time you convert it is sincere and something you want to do , and yo have no beliefs antithetical to Jewish belief.. There are many pluses in having one religion in the family and sharing it with your spouse and his/her family.

Can you convert entirely online?
You can study entirely online. Orthodox will not teach you this way. It is preferred f you are a participating member in a Jewish community. Some Rabbis will only convert you if you are. Conservative and Orthodox require you meet with  abeit din of 3 rabbis in person and immerse in front of a same sex witness. In some cases , some Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis might permit beit din meeting via skype and the immersion in front of witnesses where you are and then submnit thatb testimony to the beit din

.If i convert to judaism will my children be jewish
If you give birth AFTER you convert, yes. If they are already born, then they need to convert too. If pregnant, then the baby is Jewish when it emerges.

How to convert to judaism Reform
When you convert, you convert to Judaism, not a denomination. if you prefer Reform rabbis participate on the beit din, we can arrange it.

Some  TESTIMONIALS and reviews about our award winning program: Enrollment form follows

From a Stanford PHD
"I can, however, tell you that I very much enjoyed meeting all of you. The experience at Beth Hillel was everything I hoped it would be, every bit the word that Rabbi Brief found for me when I could not think of the right one for my Jewish friends who started me on this journey: "welcoming".
Also, I realize I may have never mentioned that I found the course itself awesome. The combination of books, online resources, blogs, video streams, etc., and, especially, the youtube videos, was, for me, perfect. I don't know if it was intentional, but the variety of mediums used and the method involved --- each section of the course involving overlapping commentaries in the books, complementary videos, memorization exercises, etc. -- served to emphasize for me the constancy and comprehensiveness of the learning that is at the core of Judaism.Thank you, again, so much. What a blessing to have found you all."

Dear Rabbi 
now I am back in Sweden and just a few weeks have passed since my special and memorable stay in Chicago.
Today is Tu BiSchwat and I would like to take this as an occasion to once again thank you for your help and support and your great explanations and guide during the last year. For me it was a wonderful experience. It was nice to finally meet you. -And it felt very special to finally be allowed to convert. I'll be in touch, and I´ll let you know how my life develops in the future. Take care,Miriam Lital 

Thank you again for all you have done for this family. Your videos and study books that we have poured over, have helped us all to grow in our faith and has confirmed in our hearts that we are doing what is right. We are so excited to be a part of Israel and the Jewish people.  We have... bonded even closer as a family. Thank you so much for the work you are doing for those that do not live close to a Jewish community and could not convert if you were not doing what you are doing for so many

Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:18 AM from Wales
Dear Rabbi
I don't quite know how to put into words how moved and grateful I am following
my conversion ceremony earlier this month.
I still have to remind myself that it has really happened!
It was the best thing that has ever happened to me...the most moving, and possibly
the most tearful!!! In retrospect, I think I left my brain outside, too, so overwhelming was the experience!Without you, I am convinced that it would not have been possible, so the gratitude
that I owe you is immeasurable.
I can't tell you how it feels now that I can also pray "who has made me a Jew" instead of having to miss that bit out.
What has also come home to me even more than before is the responsibility and honour that goes with being Jewish; to uphold the honour of HaShem and His people is a serious
responsibility as well as a joy, and I am mindful of this every single day.
I pray that the joy that you have enabled in my life will be felt by everyone you help, and that you will be blessed in everything you do. I know you can't maintain correspondence with everyone whom you teach, as there are probably
too many. But would you mind if I ask your advice from time to time, please?
Sorry to have rambled on. My real purpose is to thank you for the life-changing support you have
given me.
With very best wishes.

 "What I really like about your program is that you use technology to
your advantage. All the classes you would normally teach a convert in
your office you have recorded and put on line. The advantage with
making a recording of your material and making it accessible to your
students and perspective students, is that your students (those who
have decided that Judaism is for them) they can study the material any
time that they want and gain benefit. How many Rabbi’s would enjoy a
phone call at 9 pm so the student can learn the bedtime prayer at the
time they should be saying it? As for the perspective students (those
who are trying to decide if Judaism is right for them) there seems to
be a need to gain enough information to be able to make that decision.
Your videos certainly do cover the critical amount of needed
information to make that decision.

You inquired about our unique online/long distance conversion-to Judaism program. Below is the enrollment form. Thanks for inquiring. We look forward to working with you. 

Long Distance Conversion-to-Judaism Program Enrollment Form – Supervised by Chicago Conversion Beit Din

Return this form via email or fax to conversion course 847 824 6816 (but let us know you faxed it)

Today’s Date:
Name:                                                              Date of Birth:
Gender Male or Female? 
If male, are you circumcised?

Phone:                                                              Email:
Mailing address

Name of Spouse (if applicable):                      
 Is your spouse/partner Jewish already?  Or converting also?



Names(s) and ages of Children: Indicate if they are converting and if not, why not:
Educational History (names of schools beyond High School , degrees earned):
Present/Past Religious Affiliation:
How did you learn about the program? 
Please briefly explain your interest in converting to Judaism: (The final essay will ask for more detail
Describe any prior Jewish learning. If you have previously worked with a rabbi, include name and contact info:
How to Purchase books and pay tuition for the course

____I intend to come to Chicago to convert with ____Conservative____Reform beit din
____I have a local beit din/Rabbi who will convert me after this course
____I can't come to chicago and do not have a relationship with a local rabbi

Payment Information
Please indicate your desired order:

_____ 1 adult conversion ($495), excluding books (to be purchased independently) eithin USA
_____ 1 adult conversion including books ($595)
_____ 1 adult conversion including books, sent outside of the USA ($636)
_____ Additional DVD package (+$24.95) All the videos for the course organized on 2 dvds
              (for convenience)
_____ Number of other family members (18 or older) also converting (additional $250/person)

___________ Total Amount
 Pay for course and materials with credit card
Credit card  #--------------------------------------------------------------------
Expiration date______________________
Security code on back__________________________
Or If you prefer paypal, pay with the donation button on the homepage of this blog/ the donation buttonindicate so and we’ll paypal the request
Read and put initials here    
___I/we understand this conversion,  may not be acceptable to Orthodox Rabbis and the Israeli Orthodox Rabbinic establishment for the purposes of aliyah
__I/We do not accept Jesus/Yeshua as our Lord and savior, or messiah.

We very much look forward to working with you!
We also offer online post conversion Jewish studies, bar bat mitzvah long distance training, online Hebrew school. See www.isynagogue.blogspot.com for more information
A few couples have chosen to have a Jewish wedding after the conversion while in Chicago, either because they are married already civilly and want a Chuppah and ketubah, or because they want to get married.  If you want to do this and need a license, you can get one from Cook County the day before the conversion and we can set up a Huppah at the synagogue right after the conversion.

 Converting to Judaism - Conversion is a journey.
Journey is the key word. A transformation this large does not happen quickly. The journey will include exploration of your psycho/spiritual, cultural, intellectual and social identity. To feel Jewish will require time, experience, patience, fun-to LEARN, LIVE and LOVE the Jewish way. Since it is a journey, it does not end after the mikvah ritual bath/immersion and bet din/ Rabbinic tribunal. They mark your acceptance of your Jewish identity, and your commitment to Judaism. An important Hebrew word is savlanute-patience. Be patient with yourself.  There is a large amount of new terms, ideas, facts etc. in this course. DO NOT GET overwhelmed. Learn what you can absorb now. We will not hold you accountable for everything. Do your best. You have the rest of your life to build on your Jewish memories, learn and shaping your Judaism, as do we all. This course is self-paced, home school style. You can speak with us as often as you wish via phone and email.

 Española de conversión al judaísmo programa de Larga Distan

"Dearer to God than all of the Israelites who stood at Mount Sinai is the convert. Had the Israelites not witnessed the lightning, thunder, and quaking mountain, and had they not heard the sounds of the shofar, they would not have accepted the Torah. But the convert, who did not see or hear any of these things, surrendered to God and accepted the yoke of heaven. Can anyone be dearer to God than such a person?"
Tanhuma (ed. Buber),

[1] This essay is submitted for the conversion to Judaism candidacy

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