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Becoming Jewish

Humanistic Judaism welcomes people at any stage of their life journey who want to celebrate Jewish culture through our secular approach to Judaism. 


Are you interested in joining the Jewish family?

There are many reasons today that people choose to become Jewish and publicly affirm that connection. A positive personal connection to Jewish culture, thought, and history should not require theological affirmations. Just as those born Jewish can have a wide range of theological and ritual expressions, so too can those who were not born Jewish and want to become part of the Jewish people.


5 Ways Kol Hadash Does Becoming Jewish Differently

1. Because Kol Hadash understands Jewish identity as a cultural, family identification, we generally use the term “adoption” rather than “conversion:” the individual is adopting Jewish identity, and the Jewish community is adopting them into the “tribe.”

2. Kol Hadash accepts Jewish self-identification; if you feel deeply connected to the Jewish people, we are not “ethnic bouncers” trying to keep you out! This follows the 1988 statement of the International Federation of Secular Humanistic Jews on “Who is a Jew,” which concludes: a Jew is a person of Jewish descent or any person who declares himself or herself to be a Jew and who identifies with the history, ethical values, culture, civilization, community, and fate of the Jewish people.

3. Kol Hadash does not require invasive personal examinations or rituals regarding circumcision or the mikvah (ritual bath), though if a mikvah experience would be personally meaningful, we would happily facilitate it.

4. Kol Hadash facilitates personalized learning and Jewish identity growth with each person who wants to become Jewish through Kol Hadash. While we do have a regular adult education program in Jewish history, culture and philosophy, we also work with the candidate to create a meaningful experience for them.

5. Kol Hadash is a warm and welcoming community to anyone who wants to celebrate Jewish culture through our Humanistic approach to life, at any stage of their Jewish journey. You do not have to complete an adoption process, or even a personal decision about Jewish identity, to participate in our services and programs or even to become a member. 

You might enjoy this Jewish identity adoption ceremony from 2019.

If you would like to explore more, please be in touch with Rabbi Adam Chalom by phone (847-602-4500) or email ( 

Fri, May 24 2024 16 Iyar 5784