Inclusion

Conversion

For Adults

The decision to convert to Judaism is a personal one.  We are all on a spiritual path and as a Jewish community we respect the individuality of that path.  Some people are born Jewish and remain strongly connected to Jewish community and practice.  Others drift away from Judaism and may or may not return.  While others begin life in another faith community or with no faith and then encounter Judaism later and decide to convert.

For those who are interested, all of our services and classes are open to guests and non-members and a great way to explore Judaism is by simply showing up.  When ready, an individual should meet with one of our clergy.  Contact our office to set up an apptointment.

The process usually also includes attendance at an Introduction to Judaism class.  NVHC participates in a network of Reform synagogues that share such a class. The instructor Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein is a long time friend of our community and her reviews are stellar.  Information about the classes can be found here.

In addition to the classes, conversion candidates usually attend services, classes and programs at NVHC, become a part of our community, and continue ongoing meetings with the clergy.  This process lasts for about 1 year.  At the end of the process, when the clergy and the candidate mutually agree that the time has come, the conversion itself begins. On an appointed date, the candidate will meet with a beit din of three rabbis or cantors (often our NVHC clergy and Rabbi Bernstein), and then immerse in the mikveh (ritual bath). We do not require circumcision or hatafat dam brit.  We invite converts to join the congregation on a Friday following the conversion for a public declaration of faith and presentation of a Hebrew name. This last ritual is optional.

Conversion is an amazing experience and a once in a lifetime spiritual experience.  Please contact us with any questions.

A Special Note about Children

NVHC follows the Reform Movement’s 1983 decision on the children of interfaith couples.  That decision states that any child with 1 Jewish parent (father or mother), being raised as a Jew, is considered Jewish.  While Judaism traditionally recognizes as Jewish only the children of a Jewish mother, NVHC does not question our families beyond their decision to raise their children Jewish.

Some families chose to convert children for the sake of clarifying their status in the eyes of traditional Jews or if the child is adopted.  We happily facilitate such conversions and join them with a baby naming or name presentation ceremony.  This is done with a trip to the mikveh. Parents interested in converting children should contact our office to set up an appointment with the clergy.

Contact

To make appointments with our clergy, please contact Mozelle Stanton.

Events

May
22
Tue
Tamid Dinner
May 22 @ 5:45 pm - 6:15 pm

Weekly dinner for our 8-12th graders, catered by a wide variety of companies. If you want to register your child for Tamid, please click here.

May
23
Wed
Introduction to Judaism
May 23 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

During this 16-week course, we will explore beliefs and customs basic to Judaism. Through assigned readings, group study, lectures, and class discussion, we hope to answer many of the questions you have about Judaism and to raise new questions as well! We begin each class by studying the weekly Torah portion together, in a disucssion led by students in the class. Students write a weekly reflection submitted to the course instructor on a question related to that week’s class topic. We welcome Shabbat together on one Friday evening during the course by having Shabbat dinner and attending services at the synagogue that is hosting our class. This class is open to individuals who want to know more about Judaism or want to strengthen their foundational knowledge.

Instructor: Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein, coordinator and teacher for Introduction to Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism, Washington, DC metropolitan area.

For more information or to register, please click here, or contact Rabbi Bernstein using the information below.

May
26
Sat
Shabbat Bachutz @ Bull Run Regional Park
May 26 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Shabbat Bachutz @ Bull Run Regional Park  | Centreville | Virginia | United States

We will meet at Picnic Shelter #8. We will provide drinks and dessert.

Come experience a beautiful spring Shabbat morning outdoors! We will join together in a light trail walk in nature, and share the music and rhythms of our Shabbat prayers together amid the world of nature around us. Bring your own favorite picnic meal to savor, stay as long as you like….RSVP to Susan Trivers . We’ll see you there.

(NOTE: This will be our ONLY Shabbat morning experience on this day).

May
30
Wed
Introduction to Judaism
May 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

During this 16-week course, we will explore beliefs and customs basic to Judaism. Through assigned readings, group study, lectures, and class discussion, we hope to answer many of the questions you have about Judaism and to raise new questions as well! We begin each class by studying the weekly Torah portion together, in a disucssion led by students in the class. Students write a weekly reflection submitted to the course instructor on a question related to that week’s class topic. We welcome Shabbat together on one Friday evening during the course by having Shabbat dinner and attending services at the synagogue that is hosting our class. This class is open to individuals who want to know more about Judaism or want to strengthen their foundational knowledge.

Instructor: Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein, coordinator and teacher for Introduction to Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism, Washington, DC metropolitan area.

For more information or to register, please click here, or contact Rabbi Bernstein using the information below.

NVHC Cares Caller Coaching Workshop
May 30 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

NVHC Cares is our caring program where we, as volunteers, collaborate with clergy to provide support through life’s difficult moments and mazel at joyous times.  The NVHC Cares Calls Team members reach out to congregants who are experiencing bereavement or illness in their lives.  We all appreciate the support of our community during dark times and by performing this mitzvah, our callers get pleasure from performing this kind act of service.

This workshop is both for those who have been part of our NVHC Cares Volunteer call team and for those who might want to begin as part of our team.  Together we will walk through the mitzvah and experience of reaching out, member to member, to offer support and connection. It will be an opportunity to learn skills, to ask questions, and to role-play, in order to give you, our team members, a little more confidence and guidance about how to make these calls most effective and valuable.

Please contact our NVHC Cares Chair, Laurie Levine [ajslevine@yahoo.com] or our NVHC Calls Team Coordinator, Mitch Scott [mitchscott2@gmail.com], or Cantor Susan Caro [cantorcaro@nvhcreston.org] to RSVP or for more information.

Jun
2
Sat
Book Club @ library
Jun 2 @ 9:00 am - 10:15 am

Book selections are made by club participants.  Discussion is open to all; there is no fee to participate. For more information about Book Club, contact Marjina Kaplan.

This is the current schedule of books:

September 8- Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron.  History.  290 pp.  The murder of Rabin shocked the world, shook Israel to its core and was stunningly successful in that it achieved precisely what the assassin, Yigal Amir, had in mind.  By killing Rabin, Amir believed he would deal the peace process a mortal blow.  This book traces the trajectory of the crime to the present day.  By providng a picture of the political and religious forces that encouraged the demonization of Rabin for his perceived “treachery,” a climate that made it acceptable for Amir and his friends to speak openly about Talmudic justifications for assassination.

October 7- City of Secrets by Stewart O’Nan.  Literary Fiction.  208 pp.  Post-World War II Jerusalem is the provocative setting for this thriller that centers on a 1946 hotel bombing considered one of the most heinous terror attacks of its time.  Blending historical accuracy with a richly-imagined story, the book is informed by the British mandate that limited to 75,000 the number of Jewish refugees who could immigrate to Palestine over a five-year period beginning in 1939.  Jossi Brand, a Latvian Jew, is one of thousands of illegal refugees hiding in plain sight in Jerusalem in 1945. With help from a resistance group, he is working as a cab driver. A concentration camp survivor, Brand joins resistance fighters and conspires with them to carry out a series of attacks on British government property.

November 4- Groucho Marx: The Comedy of Existence by Lee Siegel.  Biog.  162 pp.  If you find the Marx Brothers unfailingly funny, Siegel is not your man.  In fact, he argues that the brothers often seemed to aim at something other than laughs, serving up not wit or slapstick but repudiations of authority, convention and common sense.  He links Groucho’s performing style with his upbringing in a lower-class neighborhood of new Americans speaking amalgams of English and their mother tongues, an invironment in which language-play came naturally.  Julius was the third and least-favored son: less “Aryan”-looking than his brothers at a time when that mattered, and he was born with a “walleye.”

December 2- The Last Flight of Poxl West by Daniel Torday.  Fiction.  291 pp.  It’s 1986, and Poxl (ne Leopold Weisberg) has just published an acclaimed and best-selling memoir, Skylock, about his time as a Jewish bomber pilot in the British Royal Air Force.  The story is rendered in unobtrusively lyrical prose, superb sentences that glide over the page as smoothly as a Spitfire across a cloudless sky.  The novel flies through Poxl’s adventures at the speed of sound.

Jan, 6, Feb. 3, Mar. 3, Apr. 14, May 5, June 2- Books TBD

 

 

 

Jun
6
Wed
Introduction to Judaism
Jun 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

During this 16-week course, we will explore beliefs and customs basic to Judaism. Through assigned readings, group study, lectures, and class discussion, we hope to answer many of the questions you have about Judaism and to raise new questions as well! We begin each class by studying the weekly Torah portion together, in a disucssion led by students in the class. Students write a weekly reflection submitted to the course instructor on a question related to that week’s class topic. We welcome Shabbat together on one Friday evening during the course by having Shabbat dinner and attending services at the synagogue that is hosting our class. This class is open to individuals who want to know more about Judaism or want to strengthen their foundational knowledge.

Instructor: Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein, coordinator and teacher for Introduction to Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism, Washington, DC metropolitan area.

For more information or to register, please click here, or contact Rabbi Bernstein using the information below.

Mussar 101: Jewish Wisdom and Values with Cantor Caro
Jun 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Mussar is a Jewish system for personal growth, specifically in the realm of character trait refinement, helping individuals to find balance and strength in key inner traits that are essential for leading a fulfilling life. Each month we will explore this system through these character traits, studying text sources and considering how to bring that into personal life and experience. No prior experience or knowledge needed; each month will be its own exploration, so feel free to come when you can!

Registration is important for planning. Please click here.

Jun
8
Fri
Bring Your Own Shabbat Dinner (BYOSHD)
Jun 8 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
BYO Shabbat Dinner!

Join with NVHC friends to Connect on Shabbat

Do you ever feel too busy to cook some nights, let alone invite friends over? We hear you! Starting this fall, we are encouraging families to join together for an informal dairy Shabbat dinner at NVHC.   Bring your own dinner (takeout, homemade, whatever!) and come to the Social Hall to relax and connect with friends before Friday night services.

All are welcome!  Families with children are encouraged to attend.  We love having children help open the ark and participate in services but if you can’t stay that’s ok!  Join us for lighting the candles or whatever works for you.  The idea is to come together and connect on Shabbat.  Mark your calendar now! 

BYO Shabbat Dinner dates:

June 8        (coincides with Atid Shabbat)

*BYOSHD starts at 6:00pm, followed by candle lighting and services at 7pm*

Please bring a dairy or parve meal (no pork, shell fish, meat or chicken).  Challah, paper products and water will be provided.  Any questions, please contact Hilary Wilkenfeld, 703-835-2938, or hmwilkenfeld@gmail.com.

If you’re interested in ordering a Pizza please click here.

Atid Shabbat with Shireinu- Honoring our teachers
Jun 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Shireinu will help us honor our teachers during our Shabbat prayers and celebration!

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