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For my Master’s degree I went to a big city in a different country. There was a sizeable Jewish community there and from the very beginning I went there for services. And it was awesome! There were lots of people, also people my age (gasp!) and they had a dinner for young people every Friday. I rapidly had a circle of Jewish friends. The rabbi was also great, I felt that he was connected to the real world and had something interesting to say (in contrast to the one at my former synagogue). I finally felt that this was were I belonged.

So I approached the rabbi and asked whether it would be possible to convert with him. He told me I could come to the class he was giving, but that there was no Beit Din in the country and conversions needed to be done in Israel. So in the end I resolved to learn as much as I could and then go back to my home country to convert there. It seemed like the easiest path, as anyway my Master was only going to be a bit over a year.

At this point I had been interested in Judaism for about 8 years, but then was the first time I had a real community. I was able to share holidays and shabatot with other people who were friendly, my age and just "normal" and fun to be with. I also discovered how much I actually knew about Judaism, most people thought I was Jewish when they met me and couldn’t believe I had learned all this by myself. All my fears that I didn’t know real Judaism and it was all my own fantasy were blown away. It all just fit me so well. I increased my observance of kashrut and shabat, I started wearing skirts, I prayed daily, I observed all holidays. And I loved it.

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