Are there any customs from modern or historic communities involving the celebration of a person's conversion to Judaism? In contrast to other transformative occasions in one's life (i.e., bar mitzvah, marriage), I can't think of any custom or ritual relating to celebrating this event, with the exception perhaps of a man receiving his first aliyah on the following shabbat. There are scores of piyutim (liturgical songs) that have been written for circumcision and bar mitzvah events, and both traditionally include other rituals (brit yitzkhak, seudat mitzvah, etc.)

I am familiar with couples who marry "again" once they both complete conversion, but I'm curious to know if there are standard forms of celebration for a new convert.

  • 2
    "I am familiar with couples who marry "again" once they both complete conversion": that's in order to effect an halachic marriage, not merely celebratory.
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 6:44

2 Answers 2


I believe there is no standard form of celebration.

However, at Orthodox shuls it is normal to sponsor a kiddush on Shabbos morning, for all kinds of celebrations or remembrances. I've seen converts celebrate by sponsoring a kiddush (as is typically done when a baby girl is born). If the convert is a man, he will most likely receive an aliyah for the first Shabbos morning service after he converts.

In addition, the rabbi of the shul would typically say some nice words about the ger as part of the rabbi's dvar Torah, and the ger might have a l'chaim or two with the other congregants, if he (or she) drinks.

So in short, there's not a formal way to celebrate, in terms of certain special prayers or brachos or songs or the like, but typical informal ways to celebrate are used instead.


Public acknowledgement of conversion must walk a balance; on the one hand we are not supposed to call out converts (we do not remind him of his former status), but on the other hand, a transition has occurred that affects this person's participation in the community.

In the congregations I'm familiar with, the convert receives an aliyah at first reasonable opportunity. Those who know his history will therefore know his status has changed; those who don't know won't notice anything special. (Note: the congregations I'm familiar with give aliyot to women; I don't know if there's some other ritual role that's given to new female converts in Orthodox congregations.)

In the Reform movement in the US, it's not uncommon to make explicit acknowledgement if the convert wants this. In my congregation this takes the form of a special blessing from the rabbi at a Shabbat service, including announcing the person's new Hebrew name. In the Conservative weekday morning minyan I attend, where there's always a light breakfast and sometimes people sponsor it, I've seen a new convert sponsor a breakfast to celebrate. Presumably one could sponsor a kiddush, with or without stating the reason explicitly.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .