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As an Introduction (or Review!) of Judaism, our program will provide the students with an overview of Jewish practices, ethics, beliefs, texts and history (as well as other topics).  For those interested in understanding more about the Jewish religion, whether Jewish or not, this class will be the introduction or the review that you need!

The Introduction / Conversion / Adult B’nei Class will be offered evenings, and students may attend in person or online. In addition to the Monday night instruction, there will recommended readings and online supplemental videos. We also recommend that students consider taking other classes at Ohr HaTorah on Jewish teachings regarding  inner life work and/or Jewish philosophy, as well attend our Shabbat morning services. We will have other educational opportunities as well!



For anyone interested in becoming Jewish: 

Those who complete the program are qualified for conversion to Judaism. 



For anyone, Jewish or not Jewish, interested in an introduction to (or review of) Judaism. becoming Jewish.



Those who wish to participate in an Adult Bar or Bat Mitzvah should also attend a “skills class”. The skills class – time and dates TBA, will provide training (according to the students’ interests) in the chanting of Torah, leading the Torah service on Shabbat, giving a d’var Torah, chanting Haftarah blessings, and help in leading the Shabbat morning service.

A Note From Rabbi Finley...

Dear Friends,

“Introduction to Judaism, Adult B’nei Mitzvah Program, and Conversion to Judaism”:

1) The class will serve as an Introduction (or Review) to Judaism for anyone, Jewish or not Jewish.

2) The class will also serve as an Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah class.

  1. You may have an Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony even if you had one as a child.

  2. Once you complete the class, you may choose to participate either in a group Bar/t Mitzvah ceremony later in the year or craft your own on a Shabbat morning.

  3. The ceremony may include: reading from the Torah, helping lead the service, giving a brief teaching, leading Haftarah blessings, reading from the Haftarah, etc.

  4. We will help each student determine ways to celebrate the culmination of your studies.

  5. If you are opting for the Adult B’nei Mitzvah, you will be required to take our Hebrew Language Class with Meirav Finley on Shabbat afternoon at 1:30 pm. In that class, you will learn how to read Hebrew, and then move onto mastering required prayers, and eventually all the way to reading Torah. If you already know how to read Hebrew, we will assess your level and craft a course of study tailored to your needs.

3) The class will also serve as class for Choosing Judaism / Conversion to Judaism.

  1. In addition to taking this class, all those studying for conversion should also have a sponsoring rabbi and attend the synagogue of their choice (we would of course love you to choose Ohr HaTorah!). Rabbi Finley would be happy to sponsor anyone who takes this class.

  2. Please note that this class is open to everyone including those who live outside of Los Angeles. We will be happy to guide those of you to a synagogue to attend and to a sponsoring rabbi, if you do not have one.

  3. Once you complete this class, you will be recommended for conversion to the Rabbinical Assembly in Los Angeles. The Rabbinical Assembly supervises the Mikveh (ritual bath) and Beit Din (Conversion Board). If you live outside of Los Angeles, we will also assist with finding a place for your actual conversion. You may, of course, also choose to come to Los Angeles and we will oversee that part of your conversion to Judaism here.

  4. If you would like Rabbi Finley to conduct your conversion, just let us know.

  5. Yes, you may study for conversion in addition to Adult B’nei Mitzvah. Just be sure to register for the Hebrew class, as well.

4) The class will be offered online through Zoom. Once you sign up, we will send you Zoom login information. The classes will be recorded and stored on Zoom, so if you miss a class or want to review, you can watch the class at your convenience.

  1. There is no one book to read for the topics listed below. We do recommend a Kindle book by Rabbi Wayne Dossick (Rabbi Wayne Dossick - Living Judaism - Amazon Kindle book) to get started. A brief bibliography will be provided as we go along.

Best wishes, and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Rabbi Mordecai Finley



  1. Covenant and Commandments 

  2. Shabbat in the Jewish Home 

  3. Shabbat and the Jewish Community 

  4. High Holy Days – Elul and Rosh HaShanah 

  5. High Holy Days – The 10 Days of Turning and Yom Kippur

  6. The Major Festivals:  Passover, Shavu’ot, Sukkot 

  7. The Minor Festivals – Chanukah and Purim 

  8. Life Cycle – Birth, Bar/t Mitzvah, Wedding, Death

  9.  Jewish History and Texts I: Bible – Torah, Prophets, Writing

  10. Jewish History and Jewish Texts  II – Rabbinic and Medieval Judaism 

  11. Jewish History and Texts III – the Enlightenment, Secularism and Modern Judaism 

  12. The Zionist Movement and the State of Israel 

  13. Great Jewish Texts and Traditions I – The Prayer book

  14. Great Jewish Texts and Traditions II – the Zohar, Jewish Mysticism and Hasidism 

  15. Judaism and Christianity; Judaism and Other Religion; Judaism and Atheism 

  16. The Organization of the Jewish Community – the Denomations, Israel, the Federation and much more! 

Sun, September 26 2021 20 Tishrei 5782