We recently had a married couple as seder guests and found out that they are in the process of a reconstructionist (non halachic ) conversion. They seemed interested in coming to a future shabbat meal. May they be invited? I don't want to give the impression that an orthodox person would normalize non halachic conversion and they seem unaware of the difference in conversion status by denominations. It also seems inappropriate to suggest an orthodox conversion, as that is prosyletizing. Should non halachic conversion candidates be regularly welcomed to future Jewish events in an orthodox home ?

  • 2
    Why not just be honest with them about the differences​ between denominations?
    – Double AA
    Apr 13, 2017 at 15:55
  • Since they seem unaware that they would not be Jewis and they are already interested in Judaism, you could point that out to them. They would be no different from any other nonJew who is interested about finding out about Judaism. Your last sentence seems to be a different question than about inviting nonJews for Shabbat as that implies treating them as jews in Shul. Apr 13, 2017 at 16:56
  • I agree, that these individuals can't count towards minyan, use non-mevushal wine... The last part of the question was meant to describe if it would be a concern to regularly invite these people into our home as guests during shabbat, chanukah, jewish social events vs once and done. Due to sensitivities that involve other nonreligious members in the community, it would be difficult to tell them "orthodox jews including myself won't recognize your conversion as valid." The kiruv option is an interesting angle.
    – David L
    Apr 13, 2017 at 17:51
  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya David!
    – mevaqesh
    Apr 13, 2017 at 19:03
  • 1
    Note that inviting to a Shabas meal and inviting to a yom tov meal are two different questions, halachically speaking.
    – msh210
    Apr 14, 2017 at 9:07

3 Answers 3


You need to explain the fact that by Orthodox Jewish standards, and traditional Jewish Law (halacha), they are not considered Jews and will not be considered Jews when they complete their Reconstructionist conversion. However, there should be no problem with inviting them to the Shabbat table.

They cannot, however, lead any of the brachot, and the man cannot count for the zimmun. Also, using mevushal wine would be advised.

They should be aware of the fact that they are not counted as Jews so they will not feel snubbed by you, since you will not offer them to lead any of the brachot and traditions done at the table. And, if they feel snubbed by you not giving them these honors because they are not counted as Jews halachically, then there is nothing you can do about that.

I suggest you read the other answers here as they provide additional information.


I've been at Shabbat meals in Orthodox homes where Jews with non-Orthodox conversions, and for that matter gentiles who were studying for conversion, were present. The hosts knew the status of the guests and took the necessary precautions -- using mevushal wine, not asking one of them to lead any of the b'rachot on behalf of the group, not counting them for the zimmun, and maybe other things I haven't thought of. One host told me some years back that he does this as a matter of kiruv; sometimes his guests had never actually experienced the joy of a traditional Shabbat evening, and if it inspires them to look more closely, that's a benefit.

There are some different halachic concerns about inviting non-Jews for meals on Yom Tov (h/t msh210). This answer is specifically about Shabbat.


You can invite everybody, but you can explain friendly your point of view. It is not proselytism to show your orthopracticing family. If they are interested by a Shabbat meal with you, may be that they are searching their way.

After conversion, in the reconstrionist way, are people Jewish? This is a second part of the question, I have no knowledge about this specific group.

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