I know that one needs to be in an Orthodox community in order to be immersed in the culture, practice and devotion of Jewish life. How does one connect with such a community? Does one find a conversion Rabbi first and move to his community? Or does one find a community and then approach their Rabbi about the conversion process?

There is a related question on conversion, with some excellent links and resources. It does not answer how to find a community or conversion Rabbi when one does not live in an Orthodox Jewish community or have any connections with such.


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You can often find an Orthodox community in the same way that Orthodox Jews often find them when traveling in places where they have no connections: by Googling for them! A Google search for "Orthodox Synagogue " will often be sufficient for finding the Orthodox community in a particular city. Once you have found a synagogue that looks good to you, start attending prayer services there.

It's worth noting that Orthodox Jewish communities are heavily centralized in large urban areas. Smaller and even mid-sized cities may not have any Orthodox community to speak of. If you live in one of the less densely populated areas of the United States for example, you may have to move a rather long distance, possibly even changing states, to find an Orthodox community.

Once you have had a chance to become comfortable with the synagogue and rabbi, you can then approach him and mention that you are interested in converting to Judaism. Note that the rabbi may suggest Noahidism as an alternative to full conversion to Judaism; this is definitely something that you should seriously consider.

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    I don't know that showing up before talking to the rabbi is the best course of action.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 2:51
  • Especially if they are having to move to do so.
    – user2411
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 3:04
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    @DoubleAA a no-longer-local Orthodox rabbi once told me that that's what he considers best -- visit, get to know the community a little, and then make an appointment with him to talk about next steps. We have several Orthodox synagogues in our neighborhood, and an outsider isn't going to be able to figure out the differences among them just from their web sites. So you have to explore a little. In a town with only one option, his answer might have been different. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 13:07

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