I am one of Rabbi Barry Freundel’s converts. He was my sponsoring rabbi and is the first signature on my RCA conversion documents. For a long time, I’ve been angry about my conversion, conversion in general and how I have been treated in the Jewish community post-conversion. I’ve been hesitant to speak out because I was afraid of rocking the boat, which holds not only myself, but also my husband and child(ren). Given this scandal, which has rocked my whole world, including my conversion boat, I’m no longer afraid to speak my mind.
Much of what is written about conversion is from the perspective of born-Jews and rabbis. Few converts are willing to speak out. We are afraid. We are victimized. We are threatened and judged. Which is why I’ve decided to make for myself and other converts a Bill of Rights. These are the things I deserved during my conversion and deserve now, afterwards, but have been too afraid to demand.
1. Converts are in a state of persistent limbo. During the process we are never told how long it can or should take. We cannot get married if we are dating, we cannot date if we are single. We lose control over the most important choices in our lives and hand them over to men with whom we are unfamiliar for an indeterminate amount of time. I was unable to give a new job a start date, to give my former job proper notice, sign a lease on a new apartment or set a wedding date because I was kept in the dark about how much longer my conversion could possibly take. Days? Weeks? Months? A year? Several? This is psychological torture. A rough estimate and a clear plan for how to move forward to get to the finish line, the mikvah, is the least that a convert deserves.
Read the full article at timesofisrael.com.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.