Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din celebrates 500 conversions

Published: August 10, 2017

Rabbi Heather Miller and Rabbi Lisa Edwards were among community leaders gathered to celebrate 500 conversions performed by the Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din.

For Liz Davenport, it was ladies at the mikvah. For Susan Brownstein, it was reading library books to her kids. For Jackie Lara, it was the community spirit she felt among Jews.

These were among the inspirations cited by the recent converts — or, as they’re often known, Jews by Choice — who gathered with community leaders on Aug. 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center to celebrate a milestone: 500 conversions performed by the Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din. The Bet Din is the only program in Southern California that brings together Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform and transdenominational rabbis to cooperate in the conversion process.

Calling the converts’ devotion to their new faith “inspirational,” Rabbi Richard Levy, a co-founder of the Bet Din along with Rabbi Elliot Dorff, said, “You are here, here we all are, 500 Jews by Choice, whether it’s yours or God’s — a remarkable number. Because the belief that God is one is the backbone of our work, let us affirm that together.” With that, he led the audience in the Shema. Continue reading in the Jewish Journal