ITJ Cirriculum

ITJ curriculum for WUPJ

by Rabbi Julia Margolis

Criteria for acceptance to the course

Conversion to Judaism is a process of cognitive and affective development – that is, learning what it means, and how to be Jewish and then experiencing and internalizing what has been learned.

This study would not only familiarize the prospective convert with the basic beliefs and practices of Judaism, but it would also help him or her to integrate into the actual community. I find it very important that the person who does the studying (and the internal growing) while participating in the actual life of a Jewish community. This will allow and encourage many things to become second nature to the individual. Once this happens it will be possible to assess how far the conversion has really gone. (

Length of the course

The Length of the course is between 12-18 months.

What the course covers

This class is for those new to Judaism as well as Jewish adults who seek to deepen their knowledge and experience of Jewish life.

We will cover the Jewish holidays and lifecycle events, such as: rituals, theology, prayer and will emphasize the deeper meaning behind Jewish practice.  

Women in Judaism
Prayers and Blessings
Birth/Brit/Baby Naming
Rosh Hashana and Teshuva
Elul and KolNidre
Erev Rosh Hashana
Yom Kippur
Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Succot and Simchat Torah
 Simchat Torah Celebration
Marriage and Divorce
Illness, Death, Afterlife
Hanukkah and Purim
Zionism, Yom HaShoa, Yom HaZikaron

ITJ curriculum for WUPJ by Rabbi Julia Margolis

Number of classes to attend weekly.

Each candidate and his/her partner are required to attend an ITJ class once a week . They are required to attend Kaballat Shabbat/ Saturday morning services, as well as all festival services, high holidays, lectures, synagogues activities, in essence, to be an active part of the congregational life.

Other required commitments while attending the course

Each class member is asked to prepare a brief d’var torah, (a word of Torah or short sermon) which is based upon the weekly Torah portion.  It should include a summary of the content of the Torah portion and one or two ideas or themes that are relevant to its message.  

At the end of the year each candidate is asked to prepare a presentation on the topic that they choose together with the Rabbi.

From the new year I would like to introduce a journal, which class members will be asked to maintain on a weekly basis and a tzedakah – charity project.

Class attendance is mandatory in as far as the primary student is concerned. The candidate may miss a total of four classes, as long as the assigned preparations and homework for that week have been completed. The candidate can then still receive their completion certificate.

If a candidate misses many classes, they will not be able to complete the work (finish the course) in that year, or if they do not do the assigned preparations and or homework for the class on a regular basis, this may also result in them not receiving a certificate. I prefer to have an open-door policy, and if there is a personal problem, I can meet with a student to discuss the course, their future etc.

Any required spouse commitments

We ask that the spouse also attend classes, as well as services and any other extra activities that we offer, together with the main candidate for the conversion.

The final examination Written or Verbal?

The final examination; is before a Bet Din comprising Rabbis of the region, and a witness. The exam is verbal.