I was going to write about the summer I was an intern for Mayor Kwame…
Learning About Judaism: Six Degrees of Separation
We’ve started the conversion process and are several weeks in at this point. And, as it turns out, there are connections everywhere.
We were out to dinner with my fiancé’s family to celebrate his grandmother’s 90th birthday and they were asking about the conversion process. We were talking, and my fiancé’s cousin asked which rabbi we were working with. We told him, and it turns out my fiancé’s cousin teaches one of the rabbi’s kids.
When we went to our next conversion class, the Rabbi said he had a funny story to tell us. He had gotten a text from his daughter that said, “I think you’re converting my science teacher’s cousin.” Then he asked us how that came up in conversation. We told him, and we had a good laugh about it.
But it also made me think about the interconnectedness of the world. I thought about how my fiancé’s cousin, who is not Jewish, would know the rabbi’s daughter. And I thought about the fact that as both my fiancé and I try to deepen our connections to Judaism and to God, we are simultaneously working on deepening our connections with each other.
It’s interesting to watch my fiancé as he learns more about Judaism. Even though I went to Hebrew School from kindergarten through my senior year of high school, I am learning a lot as well. And I’m glad that we are doing the classes together. This is a big step for anyone, and as it has been explained to us, the convert is held in esteem because they are making the choice to become Jewish rather than being born Jewish.
The other thing that stands out to me, so far, is that my fiancé’s family is very supportive about his decision to convert. This was one of the first things the rabbi asked us. He said he has seen situations where parents and families have disowned their children when they decide to convert to Judaism. I cannot really imagine what it would be like if we were in that type of situation, and I’m so glad we aren’t. While it’s important to me that my fiancé converts, and it is to him as well, it’s also important that he has the support of his family and friends. And I’m heartened by the fact that not only are they supportive, but they’ve asked questions and want to understand the process as well.