Contemporary secondary sources - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Contemporary secondary sources

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History of Conversion

The Jewish view of conversion has a long and complicated history. This section includes scholarly articles that deal with conversion to Judaism and examine that subject's major trends throughout history. Moving through the biblical, rabbinic, medieval and early modern era, this section will give a broad overview of some of the recent scholarship around conversion and its history.


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Contemporary Halachic Issues

When dealing with conversion, one must also consider a number of Halachic issues. The following section contains a number of articles that deal with the history and legal thought behind a number of the most important (and often controversial) halachic issues such as patriarchal decent, circumcision, and the need for rituals like the mikveh.


To view movement policy on many of these click here.


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Sociological Studies on Conversion and Intermarriage

Since the 1990 Jewish population survey, intermarriage and outreach have been two of the most studied and debated issues in the Jewish community. The following section contains links to many of the most important studies of the past decade dealing with rates of intermarriage, conversion, and Jewish connection throughout the Jewish community.


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Psychological Impact of Conversion

Our tradition teaches that one who converts to Judaism is considered "like a newborn baby" (Yeb. 22a). However, there are a number of psychological issues that come with this break from the past. The following section will examine many of these issues both for converts to Judaism and for the process of conversion in general. For this reason this section will also contain a number of Christian and secular sources.


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Helpful Scholarly Books

There are a number of scholarly books that have been written that examine many of the above topics. While we cannot include them here, the following is a helpful list, many of which you can find at the HUC libraries.


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