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Good question. I have been somehow involved with Judaism for over 10 years now. First, I had mainly studied and practiced on my own, but during the studies for my Master I was involved in a community and finally took the decision to convert, but it was not possible to convert in that country (no Beit Din).

After my Master’s degree I moved to another city in another country and I talked to the orthodox rabbi there. He didn’t reject me, but also nothing more happened for two years. I went to a few classes, but most people there were weird evangelical Christians and all were at least double my age. The community was very small, no young people. I didn’t connect to the rabbi’s very strict, very chassidic world view. Nobody had converted with this rabbi for a long time, despite several people who had been studying for years. So I didn’t (and still don’t) see a lot of chances of converting through him and didn’t push it.

Then, I came into contact with some people from the Reform movement. In the beginning I was very sceptical, but I liked the people, so I stayed for a while and found that my views actually aligned more with Conservative Judaism than Orthodox Judaism and I enjoyed living Jewishly more and felt more fulfilled and more myself than in the years before. The group was just starting and there was no rabbi. Alas, while I was trying to find a rabbi elsewhere, there was an incident with a messianic conversion candidate and the representatives decided that they first needed to focus on building up the group and would only then admit more conversion candidates. So after more than a year with classes there, I was suddenly out. It hurt so much that I haven’t talked to the people there since. Rationally I can undestand their decision, but it was just so hard emotionally.

I still celebrate the holidays, I dress and eat the same, but I have for now dropped the idea of conversion and of having a community. There is a lot of other stuff going on in my life and I feel I can put my energy somewhere where it is appreciated instead of chasing smoke. I still spend an inordinate amount reading Jewish blogs though. And who knows what the future will bring…