Ask the Rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • Conversion



Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Tammuz 29, 5782
Shalom aleichem rabbi, As a potential convert who lives in Belgium. I want to learn the expenses of conversion and a proper Jewish life with lare details. I heard Yeshiva and syngagogue memberships are paid. Is that true? How many euros do a conversion cost and what are the monthly expenses of a Jewish life? Thanks.
Shalom, My assumption is that when one chooses to convert to Judaism, the desire to convert is sincere, because it is a life changing process. So, although, I have never been asked of the cost of becoming Jewish and or/living Jewish, it seems your approach is a practical one and needs to be addressed. I am sure, that one whose desire to become Jewish is in his plans, does not want to lose out because of what the process may entail financially. On the other hand, I cannot speak for the Jewish community in Belgium, and I have no idea what the cost may be. However, if I find some contact there, I will try to inform you. While, I don't know the price of conversion, I can tell you it may vary from place to place. In Israel, depending upon where you go through the conversion process, the price will be subsidized by the government or perhaps for free. The conversion process involves the studying of Judaism, being accepted by a Jewish Rabbinical court and then the circumcision for men. In general, a synagogue does collect dues from its members which is meant to cover building maintenance, the Rabbi's salary and sometimes other community facilities. The same goes for studying in a Yeshiva, there are costs just like any educational institution in the world. Again, I cannot tell you costs, which will vary from community to community and from place to place in the world. Upon becoming Jewish there will be initial expenses such as buying kosher dishes, pots and pans. Then there is the purchase of ritual items such as Mezuzas for the doorposts, Talit and Tefillin for men, books for prayer and Jewish study. In Israel , kosher food is the standard found in supermarkets so it is not more expensive. In other countries, where there is an abundance of kosher food products, it shouldn't be more expensive than non-kosher, however I assume kosher meat and poultry products will be more expensive. There are other small expenses incurred for Jewish holidays. Other than that, a regular "Jewish " month should not be more expensive. All the best upon embracing the Jewish faith.
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