Ian, my fiancé of just over three months, is in the early stages of converting to Judaism. He is choosing to be Chosen, and while I did not coerce him into converting in any way, for some reason people always assume I did. He has actually been taking part in the traditions of Judaism since the early stages of our relationship. He has gone to High Holy Day services with me at Temple Emanuel since the beginning. We hosted our first Seder together in his apartment. Ian is already living a “Jewish” life; he just wants to make it official.
We begin classes in the next few weeks, which is both exciting and nerve-racking. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) likes the partner of the convert to also attend the classes, so I am along for the ride! It is both a personal process for him, but also a collective one for the two of us. Doing the suggested summer readings, I am becoming aware of all the things I forgot from Hebrew, Jewish Day, and Sunday School. I am viewing these classes as a way to become reacquainted with my Judaism as an adult.
Last friday night, we went to Saviv’s (Temple Emanuel’s 20’s and 30’s group) rooftop shabbat service with our friend Alissa. The three of us had already been to one of these Saviv services together at the beginning of summer. At the last service, only the post service cocktail hour was on the roof; this time it was the whole thing which was super fun and different. They also gave us sangria to drink during the service which felt a bit too “cool Jews.” The service was shockingly peaceful despite taking place on a rooftop in the middle of the upper east side. Going to services again reminds me how much I like the reset of shabbat at the end of a week, especially one as rough as last week’s. It feels like a reminder that we come from this long interconnected web of Judaism. It’s really exciting for me that Ian is choosing to be part of it.